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Environmental Audit Commission publishes "Budget 2004 and Energy" report
Submitted: 11 August 2004
Key points in the Report:
  • The Government’s Climate Change Strategy is seriously off course; and current policies have yet to make a significant impact on UK carbon emissions;
  • A more imaginative and radical strategy – in particular for transport and domestic energy efficiency – is needed;
  • The Treasury cannot expect industry to provide investment in alternative fuels unless it has a long term strategy itself;
  • Politicians have failed to make the case for the environmental benefits of taxing fuel, and despite recent oil price rises, petrol is still at least 10% cheaper than four years ago in real terms;
  • The Government should consider recycling the proceeds of future fuel tax increases to subsidise public transport spending and alternatives to conventional fuel.
Paragraph 20. The other main plank of the Government’s policy is to promote renewable energy, yet it is increasingly clear that the Renewables Obligation will not provide sufficient stimulus to technologies other than wind power, and that without this there is little chance that the 10.4% renewables target can be achieved by 2010. We have updated the graph we have produced for the last two years, and it shows no evidence of a step change in deployment so far. In view of the time lags involved in bringing on-stream renewable energy projects the window of opportunity for achieving the target is gradually closing. the window of opportunity for achieving the target is gradually closing. 1997

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