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Britain’s strategy to meet climate change targets not sufficient – MPs

Reuters Staff

16 May 2018

By Reuters Staff | 16 May 2018

LONDON (Reuters) – The British government’s Clean Growth Strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will not be enough to meet legally binding climate change targets, a committee of cross-party lawmakers said on Wednesday.

The strategy, launched last year, outlines investment in research and innovation to help reduce emissions which lead to global warming.

Britain has committed to cut emissions by 80 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels and must produce proposals on how to reach its climate targets as part of carbon budgets set every five years.

Although the amount of electricity generated from low-carbon energy doubled to a record 50 percent last year from 2009, there are signs that investment might have stalled in the past two years, the Environmental Audit Committee said in a report.

Annual clean energy investment in Britain is now at its lowest level since 2008, threatening the country’s ability to meet its carbon budgets from 2023.

The report also said that changes to low-carbon energy policies in 2015 has undermined investor confidence and reduced the number of renewable energy projects in development.

Added to that, disruption from the privatisation of the Green Investment Bank – which was set up by the government in 2012 to spur private investment in green projects but sold to a consortium led by Macquarie Bank last year – and a reduction in European Investment Bank lending following a vote to leave the EU might also have contributed to the dip in clean energy investment.

“The government must urgently plug this policy gap and publish its plan to secure the investment required to meet the UK’s climate change targets,” said Mary Creagh, chair of the Environmental Audit Committee.

“It should provide greater clarity on how it intends to deliver the Clean Growth Strategy by the 2018 Budget, and explore how a sovereign green bond could kickstart its Clean Growth Strategy,” she added.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky
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