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12 October 2017

Responding to the release of the Clean Growth Strategy which sets out the UK Government’s vision on how to achieve a low carbon future, Head of Energy and Climate, Gareth Redmond-King at WWF said:

“The strategy’s ambition is to be welcomed, however the details fall short of what we need to lead the UK to a green and prosperous future. The news on improving homes is a victory for owners, renters and landlords; and more money for off-shore wind - the cheapest form of generation - is great news. But overall the UK Government admits that it will miss most of its targets.

“They are not delivering the emissions reductions needed in the next decade, relying instead on past success to offset missed targets with the rapid power decarbonisation that we’ve seen to date. This risks passing on a worse situation to the next generation. The UK Government has much more work to do in putting forward credible policies to close a carbon gap of nearly 10% by 2032. We have been a global climate leader, but if we set out plans that don’t meet our own targets to meet the global threat of climate change, then we will have so much further to go to meet the more ambitious international ones agreed in Paris.”

Head of Energy and Climate, Gareth Redmond-King at WWF said:

On the energy cap

This is a short term distraction.  UK Government support over the last decade has shown that the growth of renewables and deployment of energy efficiency measures have been far more effective at reducing energy bills than this sort of market intervention.

 “The bigger energy companies – those least-trusted on energy pricing – will be best able to cope and adapt, while the smaller, more innovative companies – the ones people should switch to for greener and cheaper tariffs – are not helped by this move.

 “What we need is greater investment in home-grown renewable energy and support for insulating our homes. That, along with smart and efficient use of energy will have a much greater and longer-term effect on reducing energy bills than a crude cap.” 

On Transport

“With few new announcements on transport, this strategy is not the game-changer we need. The recommitment to end the sale of petrol and diesel cars is reassuring, but lacks the ambition of some other countries – including Scotland – that would send a stronger signal to UK industry and help support the UK’s competitive advantage.  We should put an end to petrol and diesel vehicle sales from 2030 to revolutionise the UK.”

On Homes

“We welcome the new target to bring all homes to energy performance certificate level of C by 2035 – what we recommended and campaigned for.  It is the right level of ambition, but there is little firm detail yet on how to get there. The real test will be in the implementation of these polices, and this is where the UK Government will need to show its mettle.”

On Power

“The Strategy acknowledges significant progress on power decarbonisation, reaffirms the phase-out of coal and commits to stronger and smarter power networks; it sets out measures to go further – most notably over half a billion pounds to buy more offshore wind capacity and to allow onshore wind in Scottish islands to compete for contracts.  This is all very welcome.  But there is no support for onshore wind generally or for large-scale solar.  We also need clarity on small-scale renewables support beyond 2019 – not least because of the jobs that count on this all around the country.

On business and industry

“This strategy has the laudable aim of improving energy efficiency across the business sector by 20%; whilst there are some welcome funding decisions, once again it fails to set out the details that underpin how this will be will be delivered.” 


Notes to editors

WWF has case studies available and has contacts at UK businesses available to comment on the implications this has for their businesses.

WWF will issue a more detailed commentary later on in the day looking at each of the sections

Page 41 shows that we miss the 4th Carbon Budget by 6% and the 5th Carbon budget by 9.7%