Replacement green policies needed says climate committee

The Government’s climate advisers are calling for new green policies to be introduced after it cut a number of existing policies over the summer.

The Committee on Climate Change has written to ministers following the announcement that subsidies would cease for onshore wind and solar power and the "green deal" home energy efficiency scheme would be coming to an end.

Although the committee's chairman, Lord Deben, has welcomed Energy Secretary Amber Rudd's pledge to reduce carbon emissions, he said that recent announcements "have been widely interpreted to have reduced the amount of action being taken to meet the clear commitment to carbon budgets".

"They have, in some areas, left a policy gap which urgently needs to be addressed. As a package, they have raised questions over the future direction of low-carbon policies," he wrote.

Deben said while it was understandable that the Government wanted to bring spending under control, the uncertainty created by changes to existing policies and a lack of replacement policies could lead to “stop-start investment, higher costs and a risk that targets to reduce emissions will be missed."

He urged the Government to make new announcements in the near future on climate policies up to 2020, in addition to longer-term plans, in order to bring certainty to the market.

These should target the move towards low-carbon power, boosting the take-up of renewable heat, encouraging energy-saving installations in households and boosting the energy efficiency of private rented homes, he said.

Deben said the Government also needs to ensure continued support for electric vehicles and to review the changes announced in the last Budget to vehicle excise duty, which represent a "missed opportunity" to incentivise the cleanest cars.

The Guardian reports that former US vice president Al Gore has also called for the British Government to reclaim its leadership on climate change while speaking in London yesterday.

He described the recent changes to green policies as “puzzling” and wants firm action to be taken prior to a global meeting on greenhouse gas emissions in Paris in December.

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