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United Kingdom low carbon transition plan


The UK low carbon transition plan sets out a route-map for the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy by 2020.

The white paper plots how the UK will meet the 34% cut in emissions on 1990 levels by 2020 – UK emissions of the basket of six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol were 22% lower in 2008 than in the base year, down from 779.9 to 608.4 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent. The Plan shows how reductions in the power sector and heavy industry; transport; homes and communities; workplaces and jobs; and farming, land and waste sectors could enable carbon budgets to 2022 to be met.

The plan is an overarching document and a number of more detailed documents were published alongside it, including low carbon transport – a greener future (Department for Transport), the UK low carbon industrial strategy (the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Department of Energy and Climate Change), and the UK renewable energy strategy.

Key steps outlined in the paper include:

  • Produce around 30% of our electricity from renewables by 2020 by substantially increasing the requirement for electricity suppliers to sell renewable electricity.
  • Make homes greener, including by allocating funds to help households become more energy efficient, with smart meters.
  • Open a competition for 15 towns, cities and villages to be at the forefront of pioneering green innovation.
  • Help the most vulnerable by creating mandated social price support at the earliest opportunity with increased resources compared to the current voluntary system. The Government is minded to focus new resources particularly on older pensioners on the lowest incomes.
  • Help make the UK a center of green industry by supporting the development and use of clean technologies, including up to £120 million investment in offshore wind and an additional £60 million to cement the UK’s position as a global leader in marine energy.
  • Transform transport by cutting average carbon dioxide emissions from new cars across the EU by 40% on 2007 levels, supporting the largest demonstration project in the world for new electric cars, and sourcing 10% of UK transport energy from sustainable renewable sources by 2020.
  • Create the first ever formal framework for tackling emissions from farming.

Read the UK low carbon transition plan.