Power plant. Author: Jonathan Kershaw. License: Creative Commons, Attribution 2.0 Generic.
The UK government today approved the fifth carbon budget, calling for a 57% emissions reduction by 2032, as proposed by the Committee on Climate Change.
The UK sets legally-binding, five-year carbon budgets as it wants to cut carbon emissions by 80% on 1990 levels by 2050.
Renewables industry groups welcomed the news.
"Today’s announcement is especially welcome given the uncertainty caused by last week’s Brexit vote. It’s a clear signal that the UK will continue to show bold leadership on carbon reduction. This will allow investment to continue to flow into renewable energy projects throughout the UK," said RenewableUK's chief executive, Hugh McNeal.
The Renewable Energy Association (REA) said that the budget confirmation was a crucial first step in reassuring investors after the referendum campaign, but would need to be backed up by a robust energy plan by the end of the year.
"The referendum has been a shock to economy, yet we still have a looming energy gap. Renewables will be easier to finance than larger centralised projects, will give the UK energy security and price stability, as well as boost new technology jobs and inward investment," said James Court, REA head of policy and external affairs.
The Solar Trade Association (STA) said it applauded the government for its latest statement of long-term ambition, but important short and medium-term questions remained.
"As an industry we are on the path to a subsidy-free future, we hope by the early 2020s. To achieve this, we need a flourishing UK industry and a government that allows us to compete on a level playing field with other renewables as well as nuclear and gas," said Jonathan Selwyn, chairman of the STA and director of Solar Consulting Ltd.