Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/12/02/huhne_carbon_budget_costings/

UK lays carbon plan before Earth Goddess

Better buy a sweater, though

By Andrew Orlowski

Posted in Science, 2nd December 2011 09:42 GMT

The planet is a little safer today after Britain's envoy to Gaia (and energy minister) Chris Huhne confirmed that the UK is on course to meet its CO2 emissions target.

"Meeting the fourth carbon budget of a 50 per cent cut in emissions by the mid-2020s will not have any additional cost implications during this Parliament," said Huhne in a written ministerial statement.

The fourth "carbon budget" was unveiled in May, and makes statutory commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

Between 40GW and 70GW of new low-carbon energy will be required, said Huhne, but in the small print, Huhne admitted much of Britain's energy needs will actually be met by gas. The costing is controversial. Huhne insists it will save energy, but this calculation requires fossil fuels to increase to astronomically high levels. If they don't then British manufacturing and industry pays a very steep price. UK energy costs are already 15 per cent higher than Germany's, and are expected to treble as the global warming mitigation regulations take effect. Depending on how much fossil fuel costs pan out, DECC estimates the plan will cost up to $20bn.

Domestic energy bills will fall by 7 per cent says Huhne, but only if we use a third less electricity.

The rewards are great, however. That means the Earth Goddess will spare the UK pestilence to be visited on other countries – thank Gaia.

For more details, see here. ®