The Fourth Carbon Budget

Winchester MP Steve Brine has warmly welcomed the Fourth Carbon Budget, announced this week.

 

When the Coalition came together, the government was clear it wanted to be the greenest government ever.

The Fourth Carbon Budget will commit the UK to a 50% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, and will keep the UK on track to achieving 80% by 2050.

Steve said: "In making this commitment, the UK will be positioned as a leading player in the global low-carbon economy, creating significant new industries and jobs, especially in those sectors where we already enjoy huge advantages, such as offshore wind and marine technology.

"In fact, as a result of the government's ongoing low-carbon policy leadership, only last week another major wind turbine manufacturer announced it was considering setting up a factory in Britain, bringing with it around 2000 new jobs!"

David Cameron and Ministerial colleagues have made very clear that if we wish to combat climate change, secure our energy supplies in the long-term and, crucially, seize the economic opportunities that green industries hold, then this is the right approach for Britain.

Steve continued: "Of course, a careful balance needs to be struck. While it is clearly right to show global leadership, we must ensure that we do this in such a way which does not place undue stresses elsewhere in our economy. In particular, we need to ensure we do not damage our country's competitiveness. If we move too far ahead of other countries, especially those on our doorstep in Europe, in our carbon and climate policies, we risk putting some of our energy intensive industries at a disadvantage.

"That's why the assurance has been given that signing up to the fourth carbon budget will not impose any additional costs during this Parliament. Our existing policies, set out in last year's Coalition Agreement, put us well on track to meet our first three carbon budgets, and also provide us with the strong foundations which will help us meet the fourth."

Ministers have also announced two further safeguards.

First, the government will review the progress of the European climate target negotiations in 2014. If at that point our domestic commitments place us on a different trajectory than the Emissions Trading System trajectory agreed by the EU, we will, as appropriate, revise up our budget to align it with the actual EU trajectory. This will make sure no British businesses are placed at a disadvantage.

Second, before the end of the year we will be announcing a package of measures for energy intensive business whose international competitiveness is most affected by our energy and climate change policies.

Steve added: "The transition to a low-carbon economy is necessary, real and global. By stepping up, showing leadership and competing with the world, the UK can prove that there need not be a tension between green and growth. But at the same time we must get the pace of the transition right, with tight controls to ensure we do not get too far ahead of others. I am delighted that this week's announcements are about achieving that balance."

Pictured; Steve is a long-term Friends of the Earth member, and has championed the green agenda locally, including working with previous MP Mark Oaten here in Winchester.