Sep 14th 2012
Climate watchdog expresses concern over government gas policy
The independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has expressed "great concern" about the government's plans for continued gas dependence.
In a letter to the energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey, send on Thursday 13 September, the CCC warned that the use of unabated gas-fired capacity in 2030 would be incompatible with meeting legislated carbon budgets and, as a result, would be inconsistent with the Climate Change Act 2008. Further to this the CCC criticised the government's "ambivalent position" on whether it is trying to build a low-carbon or gas-based power system, which it said is acting to discourage low-carbon investment.
To remedy this, the climate watchdog said the government should introduce secondary legislation into the Energy Bill to reduce the carbon intensity of power generation to around 50g CO2/kWh by 2030.
In his response to the letter Davey said the government is "absolutely" committed to meeting its legally binding carbon budgets. But he said to secure energy supplies for the future a diverse portfolio of electricity generation, including gas-fired plants, was needed.
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