The Government has launched a Carbon Plan, effectively a Government-wide plan of action on climate change, including domestic and international activity, which sets out department by department, actions and deadlines for the next 5 years.
The Plan is available here. It represents ongoing and planned cross-Government action on climate change with specific deadlines providing for both internal accountability and public transparency. Quarterly updates on progress against actions within the Plan will be published on the No.10 website.
The Plan sets out what has to happen and by when if the Government is to live up to its green ambitions, meet tough domestic carbon targets and encourage greater action internationally. It is focused on the jobs and economic opportunities of the low carbon economy and on policies that will help insulate Britain from future energy price shocks.
The final version of the Carbon Plan will be published in the autumn, and will be updated annually. Reports last weekend had suggested that the government wants to take steps – possibly in the Budget on March 23rd – to ‘wean’ the country off oil, amid fears that the Libyan battle for power has created uncertainty over fuel supplies, and left consumers facing a further rise in fuel prices.
The energy secretary, Chris Huhne, told the Observer that the UK had no option but to speed up efforts to move away from oil. “Getting off the oil hook is made all the more urgent by the crisis in the Middle East. We cannot afford to go on relying on such a volatile source of energy when we can have clean, green and secure energy from low-carbon sources,” he said. “The carbon plan is about ensuring that the whole of government is engaged in a joined-up effort to lead us into a low-carbon world.”
One of the options being mooted is a nationwide strategy to promote installation of infrastructure for electric cars by June. It is also expected that new deadlines will be set for building low-carbon homes, and that a firm starting date of September 2012 will be established for a new “green investment bank” to become fully operational.