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UK will miss 2020 carbon goal, study says

By 2020, UK carbon emissions will be 15 per cent below 1990 levels, but nowhere near low enough to meet the government’s 20 per cent goal, says independent research out today.

There is also little chance of meeting the renewable electricity goals for 2010 and 2015, says Cambridge Econometrics.

Sadly, missing renewable energy targets comes as no surprise. A leaked ministerial briefing
earlier this month said that even getting to nine per cent – from current levels of two per cent – would be challenging, let alone the EU goal of 20 per cent by 2020.

Interestingly, the leaked paper suggests that even nine per cent renewable energy will cost the UK economy £4bn a year, recommending instead that ministers focus on the more financially prudent route of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

Rich countries buying their way out of trouble is taking off, despite the EU ETS being widely discredited for pricing credits ludicrously cheaply. Figures from Point Carbon this month showed a 41 per cent growth in the global carbon market – more than £10bn-worth of credits issued in the first six months of 2007 alone.

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