BEIS cuts projection for greenhouse gas emissions

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has lowered its projection for greenhouse gas emissions during the fourth and fifth carbon budgets.

The government attributed the fall to updated data and assumptions, including new figures on energy demand and temperatures during 2016 and increased estimates for future fossil fuel prices.

Accounting for the impact of existing, new and proposed policies, greenhouse gas emissions are now expected to total the equivalent of 2,014 megatonnes of carbon dioxide during the fourth carbon budget (2023 to 2027). The figure is 54 megatonnes lower than last year’s prediction of 2,066 megatonnes, but still exceeds the 1,950-megatonne budget by more than three per cent.

Emissions during the fifth carbon budget (2028 to 2032) are on course to total 1,841 megatonnes – down 51 megatonnes on the previous projection of 1,892 megatonnes. The 1,725-megatonne budget is expected to be breached by nearly 7 per cent.

“The UK has been among the most successful countries in the developed world in growing our economy while reducing emissions, and the recently published Clean Growth Strategy sets out ambitious policies and proposals to meet our carbon reduction targets while seizing the opportunities of clean growth,” the government stated in a 2017 annual report.

“BEIS’s current estimated projection for the fourth and fifth carbon budgets suggests that we could deliver 97 per cent and 95 per cent of our required performance against 1990 levels – for carbon budgets which will end in ten and 15 years,” the document adds.

The report also states that power sector emissions are anticipated to fall by 53 per cent between 2015 and 2020.

WWF recently lauded 2017 as the “greenest year ever” for Britain’s power sector, citing fresh statistics from system operator National Grid. However, the environmental campaign group also urged the government to take action to put the UK back on schedule to meet the fourth and fifth carbon budgets, for example, by bringing forward the announced ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2040 to 2030.

The fifth carbon budget was confirmed by the government in June 2016.

Tom Grimwood

This article first appeared on edie’s sister title website, Utility Week

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