DECC’s Latest GHG Projections
By Paul Homewood
DECC have just updated their latest projections for GHG emissions in the UK.
Projections through to 2030 are based on the “Reference Scenario”, defined as:
Based on central estimates of economic growth and fossil fuel prices. Contains all agreed policies where decisions on policy design are sufficiently advanced to allow robust estimates of impact (i.e. including "planned" policies).
Provisional data for 2015 gives a figure of 545 MtCO2e, compared to the 1990 baseline of 807 MtCO2e. So in other words, we have already achieved a cut of 32%.
Our commitment in the Paris Treaty is part of the EU INDC, which states:
To achieve that 40% cut, we need to reduce GHG emissions to 484 MtCO2e, which, according to the DECC projections, we shall meet by 2017.
Yet it has already been legislated that emissions over the five years of the fourth carbon budget (2023-2027) are to be capped at 1,950 MtCO2e, equivalent to an average 52% below 1990 levels. And the Committee on Climate Change is now recommending that emissions be cut further, to 57% below 1990 levels for the fifth carbon budget (2028-32).
Nobody denies that this can only be achieved at a massive cost. The Levy Control Framework, which sets a cap to limit the costs passed on to consumers through the long-term contracts, is already set at £7.6 billion for 2020/21, and this is at 2011/12 prices. In today’s money, we are looking at about £8.3 billion.
Moreover, the LCF does not include all of the extra costs involved, such as the Climate Change Levy and cost of smart meters.
And the CCC now tell us that they estimate that meeting the proposed fifth carbon budget will involve an annual cost in 2030 that is up to £3 billion more than the cost of meeting the fourth carbon budget that has already been legislated.
In any sensible world, we would be tearing up the existing legislation, setting a target instead of a 40% cut, and telling John Gummer to take a running jump!