Lord Stern comments on the publication of the proposed Fifth Carbon Budget
Commenting today on the publication both by the UK Government of the proposed Fifth Carbon Budget and by the Committee on Climate Change of its annual progress report, Lord Stern of Brentford, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science and President of the British Academy, said: “Businesses and investors will be reassured by the Government’s welcome and constructive decision to accept the advice of the expert and independent Committee on Climate Change to set the Fifth Carbon Budget at a level that will mean annual emissions of greenhouse gases over the five-year period between 2028 and 2032 will be 57 per cent lower on average than in 1990. The Committee’s advice was based on sound and careful analysis of the most cost-effective path towards the ultimate goal of the Climate Change Act for the UK to reduce emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050 compared with 1990.
“We must also recognise that the UK’s emissions targets will need to be strengthened to be consistent with the goal of the Paris Agreement to “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels”.
“The Committee has warned today that to meet our current targets, the UK will need to take much stronger action to cut emissions, particularly outside the power sector. There should be a special focus on making our cities less polluted and congested, more efficient, less wasteful, lower carbon and more climate-resilient. For instance, we can and should cut transport emissions by accelerating the development of zero-emissions vehicles, improving public transport, and exploring the potential for self-drive cars. This will make UK’s cities more attractive places to work and live, and we will be able to attract the innovative and creative talent that is crucial to increasing growth and prosperity. The UK has already demonstrated that we can both grow and tackle climate change by reducing its annual emissions by about 38 per cent by 2015 compared with 1990, while also increasing its GDP by more than 60 per cent over the same period. The next Prime Minister should recognise the enormous potential for the low-carbon economy to drive growth, raise prosperity and enhance well-being.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
- Lord Stern is chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, as well as I.G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government, at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Since July 2013, Lord Stern has been President of the British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. Lord Stern was with HM Treasury between October 2003 and May 2007. He served as Second Permanent Secretary and Head of the Government Economic Service, head of the review of the economics of climate change (the results of which were published in ‘The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review’ in October 2006), and director of policy and research for the Commission for Africa. His previous posts included Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at the World Bank, and Chief Economist and Special Counsellor to the President at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Baron Stern of Brentford was introduced in December 2007 to the House of Lords, where he sits on the independent cross-benches. He was recommended as a non-party-political life peer by the UK House of Lords Appointments Commission in October 2007. Lord Stern is also a Fellow of the Royal Society.
- The ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (http://www.cccep.ac.uk/) is hosted by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science. It is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/). The Centre’s mission is to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research.
- The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (http://www.lse.ac.uk/grantham) was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (http://www.granthamfoundation.org/).