Energy secretary Amber Rudd has conceded that the UK government needs to put more policies in place if it is to meet its carbon reduction and renewables targets.
Speaking in the House of Commons this morning, Rudd claimed that meeting carbon budget targets would be difficult. Following a claim from Labour MP Barry Gardiner that the UK was on track to miss the fourth carbon budget by 10%, as well as the EU renewable target for 2020, Rudd said: “I do accept that this government needs to put in place more policies in order to ensure that we meet our carbon budgets.”
This admission follows the secretary’s statement to the Energy and Climate Change select committee in November that she was “concerned” at an apparent lack of progress on heat and admitted that “without action”, the UK would not recover its shortfall. This followed the publication of leaked documents which revealed the UK had reduced carbon through renewable energy by 11.5%, well off the 20% target for 2020.
Answering this point today to the House of Commons, Rudd said: “We know that we need to make more progress which is why I am working across government with other departments to make sure action is taken across heat and transport.”
It remains unclear who Rudd is working with, but this latest claim of cross-government efforts will fuel rumours of a cross-department committee that includes other secretaries of state which was raised at an ECC select committee meeting before Christmas. When pressed, Rudd claimed she was unable to reveal the identities of these individuals however due to the struggling efforts of transport to meet its targets, it is likely transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin is among them.
Rudd also announced this morning that she would be setting out the government’s proposals and policies for meeting carbon targets later this year. This could be as early as 16 March when the Chancellor will deliver the next Budget.