Britain launches renewables drive to cut emissions

Jul 15, 2009
Energy Secretary Ed Miliband, seen here in 2008, said tackling climate change would require "comprehensive changes" in Britain's economy and society, as he unveiled proposals to cut emissions from transport, agriculture and industry.

Britain announced plans Wednesday to slash emissions with a huge increase in the use of renewable energy to generate one third of the country's electricity needs by 2020.

Energy Secretary Ed Miliband said tackling would require "comprehensive changes" in Britain's economy and society, as he unveiled proposals to cut emissions from transport, agriculture and industry.

Forty percent of electricity would come from renewables such as wind and , and nuclear and "clean fossil fuels", he said.

Britain has committed to cuts of 34 percent in emissions by 2020, and has signed up to European Union targets to source 15 percent of all energy from renewable sources by the end of the next decade.

It has already reduced by about 21 percent compared to 1990 levels, including cuts that companies have purchased through the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS).

Explaining how the targets would be met, Miliband said that by 2020, 30 percent of electricity would come from renewables and a further 10 percent from nuclear and coal plants where emissions were captured and stored.

The fuel sources were "the trinity of low carbon and the future of energy in Britain", the minister said.

The government has come under fire over the potential costs of "greening" the British energy sector, but Miliband insisted it would be less costly than feared because of technological advances.

He said the new measures would not increase energy bills before 2015 but admitted bills would rise afterwards by as much as eight percent. But there will be some grants available to make homes more energy efficient.

Miliband also said up to 400,000 jobs could be provided by green jobs from sectors such as low-carbon industry, recycling and waste.

On the day Britain's jobless rate surged to its highest for 12 years, Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said: "The transition to a low-carbon economy provides an important part of the answer of where the future jobs are going to come from".

"This is a challenge that every economy is facing, and we are determined that by setting clear policy now, Britain positions itself to benefit both economically and environmentally from the transition," Mandelson said.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England, the RSPB and National Trust said in a joint statement that a renewable revolution in Britain was long overdue.

They added: "We look forward to working with government to ensure this takes place within the timescale needed to tackle climate change."

Greenpeace generally welcomed the plans, but urged the government to back them with sufficient funding.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Fish will have to find new habitats or perish if global warming is left unchecked

Related Stories

Greenhouse gas to be stored under sea

Jun 14, 2005

LONDON, June 14 (UPI) -- The British government announced plans Tuesday to tackle climate change by storing greenhouse gases under the North Sea. Carbon dioxide will be captured from power plants and stored in depleted Nor ...

EU backs climate change measures

Mar 05, 2008

The European Union has voted to support climate change proposals to cut emissions and increase energy efficiency.

China: rich nations must cut emissions by 40 pct

May 22, 2009

(AP) -- Wealthy nations, as history's biggest polluters, should cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, China says in a policy document on climate change. The government also rolled out fresh ...

Recommended for you

As nations dither, cities pick up climate slack

6 hours ago

Their national governments hamstrung by domestic politics, stretched budgets and diplomatic inertia, many cities and provinces have taken a leading role—driven by necessity—in efforts to arrest galloping ...

Should we all escape to the country during a heatwave?

10 hours ago

A University of Birmingham research project has highlighted the potential health impacts of heatwaves in urbanised areas. By modelling the 2003 heatwave the researchers were able to identify areas where city centres were ...

NASA maps beach tar from California oil pipeline spill

11 hours ago

When an on-land pipeline ruptured north of Santa Barbara, California, on May 19—spilling 105,000 barrels of crude oil onto Refugio State Beach and about 21,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean in the ...

Not all plastics equal

12 hours ago

Ever buy a fish at a pet store that died within days of being put in an aquarium at home?

Carbon capture and storage safety investigated

12 hours ago

A significant step has been made for potential Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) deployment, with the publication of the results from the world's first experiment into the realistic simulation of potential ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Jul 21, 2009
Minitruth Internet News
Approved For General Release

Revolutionary advances in green electricity production will provide up to 65% availability for Londoners and other select southern counties, eliminating the nighttime blackout policy of just a few months previous. Northern and Western counties will remain under the 50% daily blackout period until further notice.

Heating and air-conditioning rations are now available at your local distribution node. Users of the new INGSOC biochip will be awared a bonus of 5% to their energy rations. Citizens suspected of unauthorized use of air-conditioning equipment will be subject to inspection and confiscation.

Beef, chocolate, and other high carbon foods are now available to citizens who have fulfilled their annual carbon offset requirements.

Minilove reminds us: "Be ever vigilant in the permanent war against carbon polluters and free economies. No prosecution of these enemies is too small, and no sacrifice by our people is too great."
not rated yet Jul 21, 2009
Political statements of distant goals for current political advantage?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.