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Government correct in maintaining fourth carbon budget due to climate threat, say MPs


MPs on the Energy and Climate Change Committee have said that the decision by the Government to continue to support the fourth carbon budget is vital due to the threat from climate change.

The fourth carbon budget was recently backed by the Government following a review into its potential impact on the economy led by Chancellor George Osborne.

Among the measures in the fourth carbon budget are measures to reduce carbon emissions from energy and transport, along with recommendations on increasing recycling and developing a more resource efficient economy.

In a review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report, MPs found that the IPCC’s scientific processes were robust in its Fifth Assessment Report and strengthens the scientific case for rapid action to reduce global greenhouse emissions in order to avoid a 2° Celsius rise in global mean surface temperature.

Energy and Climate Change Committee chair Tim Yeo said: “We were impressed with the integrity of the IPCC and the way it had responded to criticisms by strengthening its peer review procedures since its last assessment review, but believe it could improve its transparency still further by allowing non-scientists to observe the review process from start to finish and attend its plenary sessions.

“What is starkly clear from the evidence we have heard however is that there is no reason to doubt the credibility of the science or the integrity of the scientists involved. Policymakers in the UK and around the world must now act on the IPCC’s warning and work to agree a binding global climate deal in 2015 to ensure temperature rises do not exceed a point that could dangerously destabilise the climate.

“The scientific evidence we have heard during this inquiry shows that the Coalition is absolutely right to maintain the UK’s carbon budgets at their current level. There is no scientific basis for reducing the UK’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Downgrading our targets now would have destabilised efforts to forge a global deal in 2015 on limiting emissions, just when the US and China appear to be taking positive steps towards an agreement.”