The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee has said that it expects the government to publish its eagerly anticipated Emissions Reduction Plan by the end of this month, as pledged by climate change and industry minister Nick Hurd.
This morning the BEIS committee published its second report; a first review of the industrial strategy published by the government earlier this year.
The strategy outlined how prime minister Theresa May’s parliament would set out to encourage sustainable growth throughout the wider economy but, aside from mentions of a research and innovation centre for battery and grid technologies and pledges to support electric vehicle development, it strayed away from explicit mentions of decarbonisation.
This, the government said at the time, would be left to the forthcoming Emissions Reduction Plan, a document which is now nearly three months behind schedule having originally been slated for the end of 2016.
It will establish how the government intends to meets its decarbonisation commitments set out in the fifth carbon budget which was ratified by former energy secretary Amber Rudd in one of her last acts in the role.
Delays to the document’s publication have been recurring and widely publicised, with the government reluctant to publicly commit to a precise schedule.
However the select committee has now clearly stressed that it expects the document to be published by the end of this month, as stated in one of its recommendations within today’s review.
“While we welcome the industrial strategy’s support for energy innovators, taking advantage of the economic opportunities presented by decarbonisation also means ensuring the UK continues to be seen as a world-leader in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“In this context, we trust that the government will publish its Emissions Reduction Plan by the end of March 2017, as indicated to us by the minister of state for climate change and industry. The government needs to ensure that the Emissions Reduction Plan and industrial strategy are coherent and consistent, with commitments in the industrial strategy to actively support delivery of current and future carbon budgets,” the review states.
The committee’s expectation comes in the same week that BEIS reacted strongly to Conservative MP James Heappey’s public assertions that the document would not be published until June, insisting that it did not consider that timeline to be “valid”.
“The deadline he [Heappey] is quoting is not something we have said and so I'm disputing his comments,” the department told Solar Power Portal at the time.