Energy secretary Amber Rudd has admitted that the UK is on course to miss 2020 carbon reduction targets for both heat and transport.
Her admission came within an ECC select committee hearing this morning and followed emails leaked to The Ecologist yesterday, revealing that efforts to meet legally-binding carbon reduction targets were failing.
The emails show Rudd in conversation with other high-ranking politicians within the Conservative Party and reveal that the UK has enacted carbon reductions in renewable energy – comprising electricity, heat and transport – of around 11.5%. The country must hit a target of 20% by 2020.
During this morning’s session Rudd said that she was “concerned” at an apparent lack of progress on heat and admitted that “without action”, the UK would not recover its shortfall.
Rudd added that she was “determined to take action on heat and transport” but said that the “right policies are not in place”, hinting towards a possible rehash of the Renewable Heat Incentive and incentives for low-emission vehicles.
Heat has long been considered a problematic area for the government to tackle and uptake under the RHI has faltered as of late. Within a statistical release last month DECC admitted that continued degressions were the likely cause behind slower than expected adoption of the scheme.
It is widely expected that a slew of renewable energy-focused policies are to be announced either within or shortly after this month’s spending review and autumn statement. Chancellor George Osborne is to announce these on 25 November.
Last weekend Committee on Climate Change chairman Lord Deben voiced his concern regarding the UK’s progress in heat and transport networks, claiming in an interview with the Observer that the government was “clearly failing” on energy efficiency.