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Carbon Emissions: EU Law

Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 2nd November 2011.

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Photo of John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether it is his policy that the UK should exceed the minimum requirements for EU carbon dioxide reductions.

Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The UK's 2020 target of a reduction in greenhouse gases of at least 34%, as laid down under the Climate Change Act is consistent with the UK's share of the overall EU targets under the Climate and Energy package agreed on 12 December 2008, which sets the EU policy framework for the period 2013 to 2020.

The Government set the level for the fourth carbon budget (2023-27) at 1,950 MtCO2e, which is equivalent to an average reduction of 50% over the period, from the 1990 baseline. Meeting the fourth carbon budget depends on progress on the EU 2020 target up to 2020, the 2050 roadmap beyond and the UK share of the EU ETS. Whether or not we manage to reduce emissions by the amount required to meet carbon budgets will depend on the level of the UK's share of the EU ETS cap. The UK is pushing for the EU to show more ambition by moving to a tighter 2020 emissions target, which in turn will drive a more stringent EU ETS cap.

If by 2014 our UK commitments place us on a different emissions trajectory than the EU ETS trajectory agreed by the EU, we will, as appropriate, revise up our budget to align it with the actual EU trajectory.

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