IEMA says take up of independent recommendations some post Brexit “provides clarity”
Today’s confirmation that UK Government is set to adopt the independent Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation for the Fifth Carbon Budget has been welcomed by Environment & Sustainability Professionals.
IEMA says this decision gives a clear and positive signal of the UK’s transition to a low carbon and sustainable economy at a critical time for UK environment policy. This is evidenced by IEMA research carried out in May which found that almost 90% (87.3%) of UK members believed that the UK Government should accept the Committee on Climate Change recommendation.
Coming just days after the UK’s decision to leave the EU sparked widespread concern about the future policy landscape, Martin Baxter, IEMA’s Chief Policy Advisor said today:
“This decision comes at a critical time for the UK and provides much needed clarity on the long-term direction of travel towards a low-carbon economy.
“Post Brexit, our future prosperity is increasingly dependent on us seizing the opportunity to make the necessary changes to address long-term sustainability challenges. Climate change is a defining issue of our time and significant opportunities exist to create jobs, boost productivity and enhance competitiveness by reducing our carbon emissions,” he continued.
“Achieving the 2030 target will require concerted action and investment. The recent referendum vote for the UK to leave the EU makes the job harder but not impossible. The true test of climate leadership is about sustaining the implementation of policies to achieve long-term climate goals. This decision on the fifth carbon budget provides the basis for giving confidence for investment, innovation, progressive transformation and effective action over the long-term. It must also be reinforced with a clear, post-Brexit, confirmation of the UK’s international commitments and UK ratification of the Paris climate agreement”.
In the UK, the Climate Change Act (2008) sets an 80% GHG emissions reduction target for 2050 compared to 1990, with a rolling programme of the carbon-budgets, each spanning a 5-year period. Under the Act, Government is required to set a legally binding carbon budget for the period 2028-2032 by the end of June 2016. The independent Committee on Climate Change recommended a budget that would limit annual emissions to an average 57% below 1990 levels, as being the most cost effective way for the UK to achieve its long-term climate targets.