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Lack of progress on emissions reduction
The Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) progress report to Parliament on June 30 revealed that emissions increased by 3% in 2010, mainly as a result of the colder winter months. After adjusting for weather impacts, emissions were broadly flat. This, it said, is incompatible with the 3% annual average emissions reduction required to meet the first four carbon budgets.

A significant acceleration in the pace of emissions reductions is therefore required.

Emissions in 2010 were within the limits of the first carbon budget. However, this was due to the impact that the 2009 recession, which reduced emissions by 9%

Chair of the committee on Climate Change, Lord Adair Turner said: “The step change that we have previously highlighted has not yet been achieved. Although we can meet the first carbon budget, this is mainly due to the recession.

“It is crucial that Government sets out detailed policies to support power sector decarbonisation and energy efficiency in homes and businesses. The successful implementation of these policies will determine our ability to meet carbon budgets.”

The conclusions are set out in the Committee’s 3rd annual report to Parliament on progress made by Government in 2010 towards reducing emissions.

Responding to the report, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said: “As we come out of recession the Coalition is determined to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which means a permanent shift to low carbon has to be locked into our economy in good times and bad.

“The Coalition’s once-in-a-generation reforms of the electricity market, the Green Deal and the Green Investment Bank show we’re serious about making the long-term structural changes that are vital to cut emissions and keep the lights on.”

The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) welcomed the 3rd Progress Report from the CCC, saying it provides a timely reminder of the importance of the Government's flagship 'Green Deal' policy in enabling the UK to meet its legally binding carbon reduction targets.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council said: "This report is a sobering reminder of how much there is to do to meet our carbon targets. Retrofitting the country's 26 million homes will be at the heart of this challenge and therefore the Green Deal is effectively too big to fail.

"This reinforces the need for Government to be clear about its ambitions for the Green Deal – what it will deliver, by when – and a detailed plan to implement that. The rate of loft and cavity wall insulation fell so much last year as a direct result of the uncertainty that surrounded the CERT targets. It shows how important it is to provide a clear framework for business to invest and deliver."