UK defers carbon budget decision

Government to wait until 2016 to decide on whether to include shipping emissions in carbon budgets.

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Updated on 24 Dec 2012 13:32 GMT

The UK government will defer a decision on whether to include international shipping and aviation emissions in carbon budgets until the setting of the fifth carbon budget in 2016.

In a statement, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said that by 2016 "there should be more clarity on how aviation emissions will be tackled at an EU and global level".

Last month, the European Commission proposed that it would suspend international aspects of the aviation EU Emissions Trading Scheme in order that progress could be made by the International Civil Aviation Organization in developing a global agreement on the treatment of aviation emissions.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey said: “Given the uncertainty of what is happening at the EU and global level in managing aviation emissions, we think it sensible to defer our decision on the inclusion of aviation and shipping emissions in the UK’s carbon budgets.

DECC commented: "This government is fully committed to meeting the 2050 target, and this is consistent with the UK’s contribution to the international goal of limiting global temperature rises due to climate change to 2°C.

"The government recognises the importance of treating emissions from international aviation and shipping in the same way as emissions from other sectors, in order to reach our long-term climate goals.

"DECC has taken advice from the Committee on Climate Change on the decision to defer, and will revisit how we account for international aviation and shipping emissions when the fifth carbon budget is set.

"This decision will not impact on the UK’s ability to meet the first four carbon budgets, which have already been set to allow headroom for emissions from international aviation and shipping.

"The government believes that these international sectors should be tackled at the international level and we will work hard with our global partners to support the development of wider international multilateral frameworks."