Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 recommended by CCC

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has urged the government to commit unilaterally to reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases in the UK by atleast 34% in 2020 relative to 1990 levels.  This should be increase to 42% relative to 1990 once a global deal to reduce emissions is achieved.

The CCC says meeting these targets is necessary to contain the threat  of climate change.  Building a low carbon economy the CCC's first report sets out the analysis underpinning these recommendations and the proposed level of the first thress carbon 'budgets' covering the period 2008-12, 2013-17 and 2018-22.  The report sets out how the budgets can be met by using existing technologies, and by putting in place a range of policies to move to a low carbon economy.

  • Moving away from using fossil fuels towards using cleaner forms of generating electricity and heat including greater use of renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage.
  • Using energy more efficiently in our homes and office buildings and in industry, through better instulation, use of more energy effiecient applances and through reducing waste by turning lights off, shutting down computers and using air conditioning less.
  • Reducing transport emissions, developing electric cars, improving the carbon efficiency of engines, developing use of sustainable bio-fuels, better journey planning and more use of public transport.
  • Through purchasing offset credits (eg via the Clean Development Mechanism) to meet the 42% target, but not the 34% target.