New targets put UK at forefront of fight against climate change

New binding emissions reduction targets announced today put the UK at the forefront of the international fight against climate change, according to Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael.

Liberal Democrat Energy Secretary Chris Huhne confirmed earlier that the government would accept the recommendations of the independent Committee on Climate Change and set out binding emissions reductions targets until 2027. These commitments go beyond those made by any other state and will make the UK the world leader in cutting carbon emissions.

This announcement followed news earlier this week that a major wave energy project in the Pentland Firth has been put forward by the UK Government for a major European funding bid. The Pentland Orkney Wave Energy Resource (POWER) project is the sole wave energy project that the Government has selected for consideration in the first round of a new EU scheme that will invest 4.5 bn euros in renewable technologies.

Commenting, Mr Carmichael said:

‘Last year the Prime Minister made clear that he wanted this to be the greenest government ever. Today’s announcement is another important step towards meeting this commitment and will put the UK at the forefront of the international fight against climate change. It is another area that people can see the difference that the Liberal Democrats are making in government.

‘I know that many local people were concerned over reports that Ministers were considering rejecting the emissions reduction recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change. I hope that they will see that the press reports were premature and inaccurate.

‘Locally this week, we have also had good news on the environmental front with the announcement that the Pentland Orkney Wave Energy Resource project has been put forward for a major EU funding bid. Here in the Northern Isles we are at the cutting edge of the UK’s renewable energy industry and it is clear that this project is a major stepping stone towards the establishment of an economically viable large scale wave energy development in our local waters.

‘Wave energy has the potential to make an enormous contribution towards generating the power we need in the future and help us hit the new emissions targets announced today. What has been missing up to this point is a body of research that would allow us to invest in more substantial installations. The POWER project could help change this and I am delighted that it is to be put forward for additional support from the European Union.’