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January 30, 2013 6:44 pm
The Scottish government has announced plans to decarbonise its electricity generation by 2030, putting pressure on the coalition to follow suit.
Alex Salmond, first minister, said Holyrood would set aim to cut emissions from electricity in line with recommendations by the Committee on Climate Change, the government watchdog, reducing them from 347g of CO2/kWh to 50g.
The announcement came as Tim Yeo, chairman of the Commons’ energy committee, prepared to table an amendment to the UK energy bill demanding a similar decarbonisation target.
Mr Yeo is understood to have garnered support from influential MPs including Charles Hendry, former Conservative energy minister.
Many Liberal Democrat backbenchers are expected to back the idea, including Chris Huhne, former energy secretary, and Charles Kennedy, former party leader.
Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition, announced in November that a Labour government would enact a 2030 decarbonisation target.
However, the idea has been strongly resisted by George Osborne, chancellor, and senior ministers, who believe that it could be a curb on growth.
Ed Davey, energy secretary, fought for the target during negotiations last year on the energy bill, but eventually dropped it, meaning that Lib Dem ministers will not support the Mr Yeo’s amendment.
However, the government is giving itself the power to create a decarbonisation target in 2016 through the bill.
Holyrood’s plan was welcomed by Friends of the Earth, the campaign group, which said: “The big question is whether the coalition listens to British business and its climate change advisers and adopts a UK-wide decarbonisation target.”
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