Recession helps meet carbon targets

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Britain's carbon emissions are set to fall again slightly this year after the recession drove dramatic declines of around 10 per cent last year, analysts say.

The report from Cambridge Econometrics predicts that despite modest economic recovery this year, emissions are likely to fall by around 1.5 per cent in 2010 due to the knock-on effects of the recession and less use of coal – which is currently fairly expensive – for energy generation.

The authors call on the Government to put ambitious low-carbon policies in place.

Based on policies already in place, the analysts forecast that the UK is likely to meet its first two five-year "carbon budgets" over the coming decade, but will exceed the third, which runs from 2018 to 2022, and miss its legally-binding target to cut emissions by 34 per cent by 2020.

The report also warns that on current policies, renewables will only account for 7 per cent of UK electricity supply this year, short of the 10 per cent target, and will contribute 16.5 per cent by 2020 – a little over half the previous government's goal of 30 per cent.

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