The policy gaps

The committee identifies gaps in government and EU policy for reducing emissions, many of which must be filled if Britain is to meet its carbon budgets.

It says one big omission concerns non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions from farming. There is a policy vacuum here and the government is urged to fill it. It also calls for:

  • An improved subsidy regime and fewer planning restrictions for renewable energy sources.
  • Certainty that the EUETS will continue beyond 2020 with a minimum carbon price, to encourage nuclear power, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and renewables.
  • No new coal-fired power stations to be allowed unless they can fit CCS plant by the early 2020s.
  • Promoting home heating by burning wood and biogas and by fitting heat pumps and solar water heaters. The government is soon to publish a draft renewable heat strategy.
  • Schemes stronger than CERT (see p 12) for encouraging more home insulation, plus lifestyle measures such as turning down central heating thermostats by one degree.
  • Stronger energy efficiency standards for office and household appliances and electronic equipment.
  • Small business energy conservation policies.
  • Policies to promote walking, cycling or use of public transport and fuel-efficient driving habits.
  • Policies for greener cars and vans, including battery-powered and plug-in hybrids.
  • More promotion of biofuels for road vehicles.

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