12 October 2009

First Progress Report of the UK Committee on Climate Change

The UK Committee on Climate Change has issued it first progress report (here in PDF), and here is the bottom line:
Emissions reductions in recent years have been very modest. Going forward, a step change is required if carbon budgets are to be achieved.
The report also acknowledges indirectly that looking only at emissions is misleading, because it is easy to see the recent economic slump as being some sort of success in emissions reductions, however, sometimes a slump is just a slump:
Where CO2 emissions have fallen, the extent to which this has been through implementation of measures to improve energy or carbon efficiency is very limited.
In other words, nothing has really happened in the UK economy yet to accerate decarbonization the UK economy. My analysis of the policy implications of the emissions reduction targets of the UK Climate Change Act and its implications for the rate of decarbonization of the UK economy can be found in this paper.