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Friday, February 17, 2012

Don't worry about climate change - the government has a secret and cunning plan

Dear Mr Lister,

Thank you for your email of 8 February, in reply to my previous letter to you (TO2012/01993/BL) of 5 February.

The UNFCC document indicates our current thinking ahead of 28 February. As mentioned in my previous correspondence, the UK remains committed to tackling global emissions and will submit as part of the EU its views on increasing the level of international mitigation ambition. I am afraid that I cannot say anymore at this stage.

We are committed, in an ambitious way, to reducing global emissions. We have legislated to accept the independent Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) advice on the level of the Fourth Carbon Budget. This is the most ambitious legally binding limit on carbon emissions set by any government in the world to date. This represents a 50% reduction of GHG emissions in the Fourth Carbon Budget period (2023-2027) as recommended by the CCC. Internationally, the achievements at Durban, which we have outlined before, were significant and places us on a roadmap which will lead to a new global legally binding agreement with emissions reduction commitments for all but the poorest and most vulnerable countries, as you know.

I referred you to the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan (2009) in answer to your point about how we are plotting to cut emissions by 2020, rather than your question about carbon budgets.

Departmental carbon budgets were announced in the Low Carbon Transition Plan on a pilot basis. However, the latest on how we are now managing our carbon budgets is set out in the Carbon Plan (published on 1 December 2011) on page 118:

The Carbon Plan also sets out the Government’s plans to meet the fourth carbon budget and showing how doing so sets us on a plausible pathway to 2050. For further information, visit:

I do apologise for the lack of clarity on this point.

Yours sincerely,
Bill Lacy
DECC Correspondence Unit
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