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Carbon reduction must quadruple, says report

A government advisory body on climate change has stated that the UK must quadruple its rate of carbon emission cuts.

The committee was set up under the 2008 Climate Change Act to provide independent advice to government and to monitor its progress in meeting legally binding carbon budgets.

In a statement it said: “Despite greenhouse gas emissions falling by 7 per cent in 2011, only 0.8 per cent of this can be linked directly to implementation of proactive carbon lowering measures.

“This rate of underlying progress is only a quarter of that required to meet future carbon budgets. The report therefore urges the government to move from planning to delivering change.”

David Kennedy, committee chief executive said: “Much of last year’s fall in emissions was due to a combination of mild weather, rising fuel prices, falling incomes and transitory factors in power generation.

“But as the economy recovers it will be difficult to keep the country on track to meet carbon budgets. We need to tackle major challenges to drive emissions down across the economy — and to do this as a matter of urgency.”

Mr Kennedy said there are some “good initiatives in the pipeline,” but more is needed to improve the investment climate, and put in place incentives so that people and businesses can act.