July 12, 2009 / 6:49 PM / in 9 years

UK to set out route map for cutting emissions

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government will set out a route map on Wednesday showing how it plans to meet its 2020 target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent compared to 1990 levels, a minister said on Sunday.

Britain's Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the London Eye are pictured from the roof of Westminster Abbey in London, May 20, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

The government will publish “The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan” and a Renewable Energy Strategy setting out how Britain plans to meet a European Union target of getting 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

“What we’re trying to set out on Wednesday ... is a route map, ...a sense of how do we go from here to 2020 and beyond,” Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband told the BBC.

News reports said the government would say its proposals could create up to 400,000 jobs in industries such as offshore wind and nuclear power. But they said the measures could also drive up household fuel bills.

The plans will include “feed-in” tariffs that will allow people to sell energy from domestic solar panels and wind turbines to the national grid.

“We are introducing feed-in tariffs from April 2010 in the UK so that individuals and communities can both play their part in the kind of clean energy revolution that we need,” Miliband told BBC News 24.

The Sunday Times said the plans are expected to include additional incentives for building offshore wind farms. The renewables obligation scheme, which requires power firms to buy certain amounts of renewable energy, is likely to be extended for 10 years past its 2027 expiry date, the newspaper said.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, writing in The Observer newspaper, said the proposals would involve loans to families to make energy efficiency improvements that would be repaid through savings on fuel bills.

Brown said the government will also unveil a low-carbon industrial strategy this week and the final shortlist of sites for building new environmentally friendly “eco-towns.”

The plans will lead to changes in transport, Miliband said. “I think we need to help people make the transition in terms of electric cars, for example, and we’ve announced incentives for electric cars and for charging points that will be around the country,” he said.

“I think the price of flying will go up over time,” he said.

Asked if people would have to pay more for energy, Miliband said: “I think there are upward pressures on energy prices whatever route we go down.”

The opposition Conservatives accused the government of taking most of its ideas from them.

Britain is the first country to bind itself to a framework for emissions reductions which calls for an 80 percent cut in emissions by 2050.

Reporting by Adrian Croft; Editing by Tim Dobbyn

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