The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) will today call on the government to tighten up its 2020 carbon emissions reductions targets to ensure it achieves a 60 per cut by 2030.
In its Fourth Carbon Budget Report to be published later today, the independent advisory group will say the government should set a minimum goal to cut emissions 60 per cent against 1990 levels by 2030, equating to a 46 per cent cut on today's levels.
In order to achieve those targets, it said the carbon budgets that have already been approved should be tightened from a 34 per cent to a 37 per cent cut by 2020.
The committee also set out how it thinks those budgets could be delivered at a "relatively affordable cost" of less than one per cent of Gross Domestic Product.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the report, David Kennedy, the committe's chief executive, told BusinessGreen that while the report was ambitious, it was also achievable.
He added that the CCC recommendations were in fact less ambitious than the scenarios currently being considered by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in its 2050 Pathways consultation.
"If you look at the 2050 Pathways, all of the scenarios actually go beyond 60 per cent by 2030, so I think our recommendations are slightly less ambitious than the DECC scenarios," he said. "I think that's because we've taken an economic approach, whereas the DECC approach does not really look at the cost of the technologies."
He also expressed optimism the government will embrace the committee's advice - which includes proposals for electricity market reforms that would see the government issues tenders for long-term contracts that guarantee low carbon energy capacity - noting that Prime Minister David Cameron wants to take "a more planned approach" to shaping the energy sector.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne welcomed the advice and said it will be considered in detail by DECC.
"We know that the status quo will not be enough to cut carbon which is why we are planning to undertake a comprehensive review of the electricity market, increase home energy efficiency under the Green Deal and create a Green Investment Bank We will formally respond to the report in spring next year," he said in a statement.
Under the Climate Change Act, the new carbon budgets for the period up to 2030 will need to be set out by summer 2011.
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