Committee of Public Accounts Press Notice

National Audit Office report: The Carbon Trust: Accelerating the move to a low carbon economy

A statement from Edward Leigh MP, Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts:

We all know of the need to cut carbon dioxide emissions in order to tackle climate change, and the Carbon Trust has helped businesses to reduce their emissions by some 2 million tonnes in 2006-07. This is all very encouraging, but it represents just a drop in the ocean compared with the UK government’s wider target reduction of 118 million tonnes by 2010 from levels in 1990. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has already put its hands up to say that this wider 2010 target is unlikely to be achieved. Is there anything more the Carbon Trust can contribute?

At its current level of performance, the Carbon Trust’s is on track to meet the targets set by the Department to secure a 4.4 million reduction each year by 2010. But now is the time for it to up its performance. The 12 per cent of larger businesses it estimates it has worked with is simply too low. And, importantly, it needs to achieve more of its identified savings. Less than 40 per cent of the possible savings the Carbon Trust identified between 2003 and 2006 have been achieved - even though the potential reductions in carbon dioxide emissions offer savings to business through lower energy usage.

Climate change may be one of the biggest challenges we will face, and now is not the time for cautious targets and for tinkering around the edges of the problem.


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