Government banks surplus carbon emissions reductions as ‘insurance policy’

The government has confirmed it will roll over some of its surplus carbon emissions reductions, achieved during an earlier carbon budget period, if it is necessary to avoid non-compliance resulting from changes to carbon emissions baselines.

Changes to baselines are expected as a result of “forthcoming changes to the emission inventory related to peatland and global warming potentials”, according to the chair of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), Lord Deben.

The universities and science minister Chris Skidmore wrote last week to the CCC saying that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had decided to reserve 23% of its second carbon budget surplus - 88 million tonnes of CO2 out of 384 million tonnes - so that it might be used against the third carbon budget should it be needed.

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