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WWF - Government must step up to CCC’s challenge

WWF yesterday called for ‘decisive action’ from the Government to meet the challenges set out in the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) third progress report.

The CCC, which yesterday called for a “significant acceleration in the pace of emissions reductions”, recommends two key areas where Government policy needs to be focused: on the forthcoming White Paper on electricity market reform (EMR); and on the Green Deal programme to boost energy efficiency in buildings.
WWF said that the CCC is right to worry that investment in renewables is stalling.  The latest Clean Energy Race report from the Pew Centre found that the UK fell out of the top 10 investors in renewable energy for the first time in 2010, whilst countries such as China, Germany and Italy (the last 2 countries having decided recently to renounce plans for new nuclear power) have continued to attract significant investment in renewable energy. 
Given the UK’s tremendous renewable energy potential and the significant environmental and economic benefits these could bring to the country, WWF is calling on the Government to commit firmly in the upcoming Energy White Paper to renewable energy and energy efficiency as the top priorities for decarbonising the UK’s electricity market.
Keith Allott, Head of Climate Change at WWF-UK, said: “This is the third progress report from the CCC and each one has said that a step change is needed. The Government now has no excuses for failing to listen.  The UK urgently needs clear, stable and strong policies that will unlock the potential of the low carbon economy.
“Without a clear change of approach and decisive action now, the Government's support for ambitious targets for 2025 risks collapsing. As Chris Huhne said yesterday “there is no credible alternative”. In the Energy White Paper, the Government needs to make crystal clear that the new electricity market rules will provide an overwhelming focus on demand reduction and a strong platform for renewable energy.”
Darren Shirley, Campaign Manager for the Energy Bill at WWF-UK added: “The CCC’s third progress report highlights the UK’s lack of progress on improving energy efficiency. The Government is clearly off-track on reducing emissions from buildings and it needs to be more ambitious with its new Green Deal. The Government must align the Green Deal with the UK’s carbon budgets and it needs a cross-departmental plan to ensure the scheme is a success.
“The Government’s refusal to provide clarity for industry and investors, in the shape of a long-term strategy for advancing energy efficiency is concerning. The lack of progress in 2010 on energy efficiency will only worsen if the Government does not start addressing this issue. “
On electric vehicles (EVs) WWF-UK agrees with the CCC's assessment that electric cars will be key to reducing emissions longer-term, once they become more widespread in use. As the CCC recommends, this will require continuing price support to reduce the cost of EVs as well as deployment targets for 2020 to help ensure the level of uptake necessary to meet climate change targets.
Notes to editors:
1.    A Pew Environment Group report on clean energy investment, published in March, shows that the UK has dropped from third in the world in green investment to 13th place. http://www.pewenvironment.org/news-room/reports/whos-winning-the-clean-energy-race-2010-edition-329291 
2.    On 2 February 2011, WWF published The Energy Report - 100% renewable energy by 2050, a collaborative work with Ecofys which demonstrates that by 2050, power, transport, industrial and domestic energy needs could be met overwhelmingly from renewable sources, vastly reducing anxieties over energy security, pollution and not least, catastrophic climate change. http://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/2011_02_02_the_energy_report_full.pdf 
3.    The Green Deal is currently being introduced in the Energy Bill which will soon receive its Report Stage in the House of Commons. Seventy eight organisations including small business representatives, retailers, builders, the insulation industry, and communities support WWF’s call for the Governments energy efficiency programme to be linked to meeting carbon budgets and for the Government to produce a strategy.
4.    WWF's report Electric avenues: driving home the case for electric vehicles in the UK, 30 March 2011: http://www.wwf.org.uk/wwf_articles.cfm?unewsid=4784 
For further information, please contact:
George Smeeton, Tel: 01483 412 388, Mob: 07917 052 948, email: GSmeeton@wwf.org.uk

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