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Updated Carbon Budget proposals set for 2020 release

Recommendations from influential Committee on Climate change to determine costs of efforts to decarbonise buildings and emissions targets for next decade will be released next September

Recommendations for the UK’s sixth Carbon Budget that will detail the predicted future costs and requirements of national decarbonisation efforts intended to transform homes, heating demand, transport and energy networks will be published in September 2020.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said it had written a letter to the Treasury on its intentions to publish the recommendations next year as required under the Climate Change Act. Proposals on possible targets for government will be provided three months ahead of the international climate change conference (COP26) taking place in Glasgow in December 2020 as is required under the UK law.

The provisions included in the Carbon Budget, which will look at the likely cost impacts of projects such as realising low to no carbon heat, will determine the volume of greenhouse gases that can be omitted between 2033 and 2037.

The CCC’s letter has reiterated calls for the Treasury to conduct a in-depth review of required financing and costs of decarbonisation to help inform the government’s next budget, as well as longer-term environmental aims.

CCC Chair Lord Deben has now also urged that the Treasury review set out a clear funding plan that can determine the distribution of costs likely to face businesses, homeowners and the Exchequer from decarbonisation. He said this should also focus on the near- as well as long-term funding needs to support decarbonisation efforts.

A statement from the CCC said, “Delivering net zero will require a range of actions, which must begin immediately, including: large-scale roll-out of energy efficiency and low-carbon heating; a scaled-up market for electric vehicles and increased share of electricity from low-carbon sources.”

Other initiatives identified by the committee that are expected to be vital to meeting the UK’s 2050 targets net zero carbon targets is ensuring there is significant investment in CO2 transportation and storage infrastructure, as well as initiatives to drive societal change around diets and travel.

Another major challenge will be ensuring international coordination on aviation and shipping policy.

The UK Government earlier this year committed by law to fully eliminate or offset national carbon emissions in their entirety by 2050. The legislation built on the recommendations of the CCC, which was formed to provide independent advice to government on its environmental policy and where shortcomings may exist.

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