22 April 2009 – Analysts have warned that the UK is set to miss 2020 goals for deep cuts in carbon dioxide.
The latest twice-yearly UK Energy and the Environment report said that the government’s current policies mean that it won’t meet targets to increase electricity from renewables.
The ‘ambitious’ EU goal for the UK to produce 15 per cent of all energy from sources such as wind power and biomass by 2020 is set to be missed by a ‘wide margin’.
Cambridge Econometrics forecasts predict that, due to the recession, CO2 emissions will fall by around 3 per cent during this year and again next year.
The recession is helping cut CO2 emissions because there’s less economic activity and the UK is using more gas instead of coal to produce electricity.
The report has predicted that, if the UK suffered a deeper recession with a delayed recovery, emissions could be reduced by 19 per cent by 2015 – five years earlier than currently projected.
However, it adds that continually relying on coal and gas-fired power stations means fossil fuels will significantly contribute to meeting the country’s energy needs through the next decade, and emissions will fall more slowly from 2010.
CO2 emissions are predicted to be 19 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 – way off the 29 per cent minimum cut recommended by the government’s climate change committee.