Turner backs 42% emissions target

Britain should aim to make 42 per cent emissions cuts on 1990 levels by 2020 in the event of a global deal on climate change, Lord Adair Turner’s committee has recommended.

The committee on climate change (CCC), an independent body chaired by Lord Turner, made the call in its first report out today.

It wants greenhouse emissions to be cut by 34 per cent relative to 1990 levels (21 per cent relative to 2005) and that this should be increased to 42 per cent once a global deal is reached.

Talks towards such a deal have begun at the UN framework convention on climate change’s annual meeting in Poznan today, but they are not expected to reach an agreement until next year’s meeting in Copenhagen.

WWF-UK’s climate change head Keith Allott said the 42 per cent cut by 2020 would “inspire hope” around the world that progress can be made.

“Lord Turner has confirmed that this is both achievable and affordable. Now the government must offer an immediate signal that it will accept this target,” he said.

And Friends of the Earth’s executive director Andy Atkins also congratulated the committee on its findings but said it should have scrapped the conditional request on a global climate change deal.

“The government must now get on with the urgent task of making the UK a low- carbon economy,” he said.

“Lord Turner’s strong backing for urgent investment in green energy and cutting energy waste hits the nail on the head.”

The CCC’s interim report concluded that the UK must make 80 per cent reductions by 2050. The figure was incorporated into the Climate Change Act passed this autumn.

Lord Turner, commenting on the publication of the report, said: “The reductions required can be achieved at a very low cost to our economy; the cost of not achieving the reductions will be far greater.”