Significant savings could be achieved by acting early to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has said.
The body charged with advising the Government on how to meet emission reduction targets under the Climate Change Act, has warned the Government that around £100 billion at current gas prices could be saved and even more if the price of gas rises.
It has advised the Government that there has been no change in the circumstances upon which the fourth carbon budget for the period 2023-2027 should have its ambitions lowered. Indeed, if anything, it suggests the targets may need to be tightened once uncertainties at an EU level have been resolved.
CCC chair Lord Deben said: “This report shows the clear economic benefits of acting to cut emissions through the 2020s. This provides insurance against the increased costs and risks of climate-related damage and rising energy bills that would result from an alternative approach to reduce and delay action.
“While it is essential to understand affordability and competitiveness impacts associated with the budget, the evidence suggests that these are relatively small and manageable. The Government should confirm the budget as a matter of urgency. This would remove the current uncertainty and poor investment climate. It would provide a boost to the wide range of investors who stand ready to invest in low-carbon technologies.”
The report from CCC follows on from Part One of its advice that was published in November 2013 that concluded that the fourth carbon budget embodies the minimum UK contribution to global emissions reductions required to limit the risks of climate change.