‘Fiddling the figures’: Cabinet reported to be planning climate change target ‘fudge’

Cabinet ministers are planning to carry past carbon budget overperformance forward to help the government meet future targets which it will otherwise miss, according to reports.

Ministers decided over the weekend to press forward with plans to take some of the surplus emissions reductions made during the carbon budget period 2008-2012 and account for them in the period 2023-2027 at chancellor Philip Hammond’s insistence, according to reports in the Financial Times today.

The UK outperformed on the first (2008-2012) and second (2013-2017) carbon budgets and is on track to meet the third (2018-2022), but it is unlikely to hit the fourth (2023-2027) or fifth (2028-2032) budgets.

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