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OFTEC joins call for new government to stick with key EU 2020 climate change targets

Jul 27, 2016, 12:28 PM by OFTEC
OFTEC, alongside 29 other organisations*, has signed a letter to the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Greg Clark, calling for a commitment to critical EU 2020 carbon reduction and energy infrastructure targets, irrespective of Brexit.

The letter argues that EU laws and regulations on energy and buildings have played a crucial role in enabling the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and provide global leadership on climate change.

As the UK prepares to commence EU exit negotiations, all 30 signatories agree that government should stick with three of the key EU 2020 targets until the terms of leaving the EU are in place, to give badly needed confidence to businesses and investors.

The three targets are:

15% of all energy used for electricity, transport and heating should come from renewable energy sources (under the Renewables Energy Directive)
UK final energy consumption should fall to 129.2 million tonnes of oil equivalent or less (the Energy Efficiency Directive)
All new buildings must be nearly zero energy buildings by the end of 2020 and by the end of 2018 for public buildings (The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive).
OFTEC director general Jeremy Hawksley comments: “OFTEC is fully committed to a low carbon future and following Brexit, it is vital momentum gained in this area is not lost. We cannot afford to go back on the EU 2020 renewable targets now.

“As such, OFTEC will continue its call – now to the new government - to introduce more practical, affordable carbon reduction policies as an alternative to the flagging domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), to push towards these targets which at the present rate of progress in the home heating sector, seem unrealistic.

“These include the introduction of a universal boiler replacement scheme which our independently verified research shows could, for the same amount of government spend, prove five times more effective in cutting carbon output than the domestic RHI.”

The letter has been coordinated by the Association for Conservation of Energy (ACE) and sustainability charity Bioregional.

Dr Joanne Wade, CEO of ACE, commented: “The Brexit vote has caused industry uncertainty.  Government must move quickly to confirm it will continue on a clear path to meeting key energy targets.”

Sue Riddlestone, Chief Executive of Bioregional, added: “Cutting emissions is the pathway to secure, affordable energy for the UK in the long term as well as tackling climate change. We need a firm commitment to these long-agreed targets for 2020.”

*The 30 signatory organisations are:

Ashden
Association for the Conservation of Energy
Bioregional
British Blind and Shutter Association
British Pump Manufacturers Association
British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers Association
Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency
Centre for Sustainable Energy
Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers
E3G
Energy Saving Trust
Energy Systems Trade Association
Energy UK
Existing Homes Alliance Scotland
Friends of the Earth
Glass and Glazing Federation
Greenpeace
Insulated Render and Cladding Association
Lighting Industry Association
Mineral Wool Manufacturers Association
National Energy Foundation
National Insulation Association
Oil Firing Technical Association
Property and Energy Professionals Association
Regen SW
Renewable Energy Association
Solar Trade Association
Sustainable Energy Association
Thermal Insulation Consortium
Town and Country Planning Association

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