The UK Government has set out its Clean Growth Strategy which aims to boost national income and output whilst simultaneously cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The Government’s newly published strategy suggests that despite emissions targets being exceeded for the 2nd and 3rd carbon budgets (2013 to 2022), the targets for the 4th and 5th budgets (2023 to 2032) will be missed by 6 percent and 9.7 percent respectively.
This represents a shortfall of 116 million tonnes and 167 million tonnes respectively.
These figures are significant despite the fact that by 2032, emissions levels are expected to be 57 percent lower than 1990 levels.
This will lead to an overall cumulative emissions deficit against the 2032 target of around 60 million tonnes.
Without the implementation of new emission-reducing policies and proposals and simply relying on current measures, the UK is likely to miss the targets for the 4th and 5th carbon budget by 7.5 percent and 14.3 percent respectively.
If in future, the targets are still looking unlikely to be met, the Government state “we will decide whether to use flexibilities following consultation with the Devolved Administrations, and having obtained and taken into account advice from the Committee on Climate Change.”
These ‘flexibilities’ include surplus from previous carbon budgets, as well as the purchase of international carbon credits.