UK won't use recession to meet emission cut goals

A chimney is seen at an industrial site on Teesside, northern England February 8,2009. REUTERS/Nigel Roddis

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will not rely on the carbon dioxide emissions reductions made due to a weaker economy to meet its climate targets, Britain’s Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said on Thursday.

Britain is set to over-achieve on its so-called “carbon budgets” with an estimated 36 percent cut in emissions from 1990 levels by 2020.

This was aided by the economic slowdown which reduced industrial output in 2008, causing emissions to fall by 2 percent.

Any over-achievement in the first carbon budget (2008-2012) due to the recession will not be carried forward to allow for higher emissions in the future, the government said.

On Monday, a UK Parliament committee recommended that Britain moves to a 42 percent emissions cut by 2020 from 1990 levels, from its current goal of 34 percent.

It warned the government not to bank any over-achievement from its first carbon budget into its second budget period


The government said it has made “significant progress” in moving to a low-carbon economy.

It will soon publish steps made so far in delivering an 80 percent reduction in emissions by 2050.

Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by William Hardy