The committee said its advice was the 'minimum level of UK ambition necessary' to meet the Paris targets

UK will not meet climate targets 'without policy changes'

The UK needs to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 57 per cent before 2030, according to the government’s climate advisers.

The independent Committee on Climate Change said that without policy change, the UK will not reach the targets that were set at a meeting of world leaders in Paris last December.

It was agreed at the talks that countries would limit their activities so that the average global temperature does not increase more than 2°C beyond pre-industrial levels and strive to keep this to 1.5°C.

The committee called for steps including extending funding for green electricity beyond 2020 - paid for by consumer bills, to cut emissions from the power sector, boosting low-carbon heating in buildings and maintaining support for electric vehicles.

It said its advice on cutting emissions for the period 2028-2032 was the ‘minimum level of UK ambition necessary’ to meet the Paris targets.

It also urged ministers to develop a new approach to carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the UK following the government’s abandonment of the technology in its last Autumn Statement.

Speaking earlier this month, Prime Minister David Cameron said the government had cancelled the £1bn CCS scheme because it was too expensive, costing around £170 per megawatt hour (MWh) of power.

However, in a letter to the energy secretary Amber Rudd, the Committee warned that meeting long-term UK targets to cut climate emissions would be twice as expensive without CCS technology.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "We are determined to meet our climate change commitments in the most cost-effective way so we can keep bills as low as possible, and have already reduced our emissions by 30 per cent since 1990.

"We are considering the Committee's advice and will set the fifth carbon budget in law by the end of June this year."

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