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UK action plan for low-carbon energy and climate change measures

The UK Government has published a Carbon Plan setting out action points and deadlines to reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of low-carbon and renewable energy sources.

By Renewable Energy Focus staff

The focus is on the jobs and economic opportunities of a low-carbon economy. The publication is in a draft form, with a full version expected this autumn. The Carbon Plan is set to be updated annually.

Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne, state: “This Carbon Plan sets out a vision of a changed Britain, powered by cleaner energy used more efficiently in our homes and businesses, with more secure energy supply and more stable energy prices, and benefiting from the jobs and growth that a low-carbon economy will bring.

“But it does more than that. It shows exactly how we will deliver that vision and play our part in the global effort to tackle climate change and build a green economy through specific, practical action across government, month by month and department by department. We want the public to tell us where we can be even more ambitious, and hold us to account on delivering what we say, when we say.”

Three key changes for the UK are highlighted:

  • A shift away from fossil fuels and towards low-carbon alternatives – such as renewable energy, nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS);
  • A change in heating buildings using low-carbon energy alternatives such as heat pumps, and increased use of insulation; and
  • Improving public transport, reducing vehicle emissions and moving towards other technologies such as electric vehicles.

Deadlines and actions

The actions and deadlines set out by the Carbon Plan include:

  • Creating a carbon price floor by April 2011;
  • Award the first UK CCS demonstration contract by the end of 2011 and to identify further projects by May 2012;
  • Get the Green Investment Bank operation by September 2012 with the first annual data released on the funds and size of investments made by May 2013;
  • Develop a nationwide strategy to promote electric vehicle infrastructure by June 2011;
  • Reduce central Government emissions by 10% by May 2011; and
  • Launch a pilot project to develop and trial methods for delivering integrated environmental advice for farmers by June 2012.

UK and other countries

The document also includes plans for how the UK will work within the EU and with other countries to promote action on climate change, support developing countries and to see progress towards a global climate change agreements.

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