Carbon target delayed until 2016

Carbon target delayed until 2016

The government will not set a target for carbon emissions for 2030 until well after the next general election, it has emerged.

A new agreement by the coalition announced today will see billions of pounds of investment in renewable energy invested up to 2020.

But any decisions for after this period has been put off until the Committee for Climate Change reports back in 2016.

Energy secretary Ed Davey believes the money will help lure more investment from the private sector and boost the amount of renewable energy produced in the UK and make us less dependent on imports.

"The decisions we've reached are true to the coalition agreement, they mean we can introduce the energy bill next week and have essential electricity market reforms up and running by 2014 as planned," he said.

"They will allow us to meet our legally binding carbon reduction and renewable energy obligations and will bring on the investment required to keep the lights on and bills affordable for consumers."

£7.6 billion will be invested between 2014 and 2020 in energy infrastructure projects, with the hope this will bring in £110 billion of private sector spending.

Davey believes 30% of energy will be produced by renewables by 2020, up from just 11% today.

The government has come under fire of late from energy campaigners for appointing Owen Paterson and John Hayes to the positions of environment secretary and energy secretary respectively, despite being climate change sceptics.

George Osborne also made clear in his conference speech last year that climate change policy would not be allowed to get in the way of the pursuing economic growth.

Labour leader Ed Miliband is expected to criticise the new deal in a speech at a wind farm later today.

"David Cameron promised that this government would be the greenest government ever. But this government is not up to the task," he will say.

"We now have a minister for energy who is against building new wind turbines – and a government that has delayed crucial decisions on the green investment bank and de-carbonisation targets."

The decision to delay any new on climate change targets follow a recent agreement to put off any announcement over airport expansion for in the south east, in what Boris Johnson described as a "fudgerama".

But the deal announced today means the targets set by the 2008 Climate Change Act should still be met.