The UK Announces World’s First “Carbon Budget”

Via 10 Downing Street’s Twitter, UK Chancellor Alistair Darling just released what the British government is calling the “world’s first carbon budget.” It pledges £1.5 billion for low carbon industries and commits the UK to a 34% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels).   The Financial Times explains:

The effects of the “carbon budget” will not be worked out in detail until later this year, but Alistair Darling said the “landmark step” of setting such a legally binding target would “give industry the certainty” needed to make low-carbon investments.

Mr Darling had good news for offshore wind farm developers, increasing the amount they receive from the Renewable Obligation scheme, which subsidises renewables through charges on electricity bills. His reforms would give offshore wind farms an extra £525m, he said, which would “lead to major projects getting the go-ahead”. The future of several proposed offshore wind farms, including the London Array, the world’s biggest, was in doubt because of cost increases.

Happy Earth Day! 

Photo from flikr user firthcycles of Alistair Darling holding the budget in a beaten up briefcase.