* Retaining budget provides certainty for businesses
* Aims to boost confidence in low-carbon investments
(Updates with comments from PwC)
By Susanna Twidale
LONDON, July 22 Britain's government said it
would stick with a goal to curb emissions by 2027 to 50 percent
of 1990 levels, a target that has led to political opposition
and that its own advisers have said will be hard to meet.
The country has set binding targets for greenhouse gases
over four five-year periods to 2027, known as carbon budgets,
which aim to put it on track towards cutting emissions by 80
percent from 1990 levels by the middle of the century.
"Retaining the budget at its existing level provides
certainty for businesses and investors by demonstrating
government's commitment to our long-term decarbonisation goals,"
Ed Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change,
said in a statement on Tuesday.
The fourth carbon budget, covering the period from 2023 to
2027, has been a subject of debate among some politicians, who
argue for a weaker emissions cut target to prevent damage to the
Government advisers also have said altering the goals will
undermine investor confidence in low-carbon technology.
"By sticking to its guns on carbon targets, the coalition
government will help bring some much-needed investor confidence,
and more importantly capital, into funding the transition to a
low carbon economy," said Jon Williams, partner at
The government has said that around 110 billion pounds ($188
billion) of investment in energy infrastructure is needed to
replace ageing coal and nuclear plants and prevent power
shortages into the 2020s.
The fourth carbon budget was set in 2011 but the government
said it would decide in 2014 whether the budget should be
revised to reflect progress in cutting emissions in the European
"Any revision now would be premature, especially in light of
the ongoing negotiations in the EU to agree a domestic 40
percent GHG (greenhouse gas) reduction target for 2030 by
October," Davey said.
Last week, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said in a
report to parliament that Britain risked missing the goals set
in the fourth budget despite extensive reforms to its
($1 = 0.5863 British Pounds)
(editing by Jane Baird and Keiron Henderson)