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Government seeks CCC advice on net zero economy roadmap

Image: Getty.

Image: Getty.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has written to the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) seeking its advice on a possible new zero emissions target for the UK economy.

And BEIS has also teased a host of new documents to be released this week, including the government’s formal response to the CCC’s annual progress report and an update to the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan.

Energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry has kicked off Green Great Britain Week (GGBW) with a letter addressed to the government’s climate advisors, asking for guidance on a date that the UK could achieve new zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The letter also questions whether or not the UK’s current climate targets – that emissions must fall by at least 80% compared to 1990 levels by 2050 – must be reviewed, how emissions reductions could be realised from industry, the built environment, transport and agriculture, and the cost/benefit expectation in comparison to existing targets.

Noting last week’s report from the IPCC, Perry said that the “evidence is clear” that further action must be taken on climate issues.

“That’s why we’re asking the independent climate experts of the CCC for advice on a roadmap to a net zero economy, including how emissions might be reduced and the expected costs and benefits of doing so.

“The case for tackling climate change is more stark than ever before. This Green GB Week, we need everyone – the government, businesses and communities – to renew their efforts to confront this global challenge head on while seizing one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time,” she said.

The letter, co-signed by Perry’s equivalent ministers in Scotland (Paul Wheelhouse) and Wales (Lesley Griffiths) gives the climate watchdog until the end of March 2019 to respond.

Meanwhile, BEIS has also revealed that its response on the CCC’s last annual progress report and a response to a consultation on smart appliance standards are to be published later today (15 October 2018), with an update on the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan to be released tomorrow.

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