Political Shuffle

Downing Street SignThe Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is no more. It has been merged with BIS into a new department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.

With Greg Clark at the helm, the UK has a strong commitment to tackling climate change, with one of the most ambitious carbon targets in the world, in the form of the Climate Change Act. Government has also just agreed an ambitious fifth carbon budget to 2032.

Upon his appointment Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark, said:

I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change.

Bringing together energy policy with industrial strategy will be beneficial to shaping a competitive business environment for energy intensive industries, including the UK steel sector. The new department will have a strong focus on the needs of customers, both business and domestic. One of the missions of the new department will be International climate change and cost-effective carbon reduction at home: taking action on climate change alongside international partners to safeguard long-term economic and national security and meeting the national carbon target of at least an 80% emissions reduction by 2050 through efficient procurement of low carbon generation and otherwise in ways that keeps the cost of action as low as possible, to ensure value for money for our families and businesses.

The merged department will have joint responsibility with the Department for International Development for delivery of the International Climate Fund and with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the International Energy Unit. It will continue to work closely with the Department for Work and Pensions to deliver its ambitions on fuel poverty. It will work closely with the Department for Exiting the European Union and the Department for International Trade on market access including in overseas energy markets, and attracting overseas investment.

The fifth carbon budget sets the emission reduction levels at 57% on 1990 levels. It covers the period of 2028-2032 and is consistent with the UK’s international commitments.

In both the recommended budget and its latest progress report, the CCC has set out some recommended priorities for policy development, including:

  • Enabling mature low carbon energy sources (e.g. onshore wind) to come to market
  • Setting out how energy efficiency improvements will be delivered and financed
  • Increasing uptake of low carbon heat, including policies to overcome behavioural barriers
  • Extending vehicle efficiency targets through the 2020s, along with policies to increase uptake of electric vehicles

Read more about the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy by clicking here.

Visit www.theccc.org.uk to find out more about the Committee on Climate Change and the fifth carbon budget.

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