Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has confirmed that the DECC will go ahead with its fourth carbon budget, increasing the emissions target to 80% by 2050. The decision has been made in the wake of the Committee on Climate Change report revealed last week.

According to the DECC, Government will continue to argue for an EU move to a 30% target for 2020, with ambitious action planned for the 2020s. “We will review progress in EU climate negotiations in early 2014. If at that point our domestic commitments place us on a different emissions trajectory than the EU Emissions Trading System trajectory agreed by the EU, we will, as appropriate, revise up our budget to align it with the actual EU trajectory,” the Department claims.

“Before the end of the year we will announce a package of measures to reduce the impact of government policy on the cost of electricity for energy intensive industries and to help them adjust to the low-carbon industrial transformation.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said, “When the coalition came together last year, we said we wanted this to be the greenest government ever. This is the right approach for Britain if we are to combat climate change, secure our energy supplies for the long-term and seize the economic opportunities that green industries hold.

“In the past twelve months, we have pursued an ambitious green agenda and today, we are announcing the next, historic step. By making this commitment, we will position the UK a leading player in the global low-carbon economy, creating significant new industries and jobs.

“The transition to a low-carbon economy is necessary, real, and global. By stepping up, showing leadership and competing with the world, the UK can prove that there need not be a tension between green and growth.”

Huhne concurred, “Today’s announcement will give investors the certainty they need to invest in clean energy. It puts Britain at the leading edge of a new global industrial transformation as well as making good our determination that this will be the greenest government ever.

“The Coalition Government has set a fourth carbon budget level, in line with the advice from the Committee on Climate Change, that sends a clear signal about our determination to transform Britain permanently into a low carbon economy. By cutting emissions we’re also getting ourselves off the oil hook, making our energy supplies more secure and opening up opportunities for jobs in the new green industries of the future.

“Through the Green Deal, electricity market reform and the Green Investment Bank we’re already putting in place the tools that will help us meet this ambitious carbon budget. This and every future British Government will have to keep up the pace and put in place the most effective policies to tackle climate change.

“Under this carbon budget, Britain in 2027 will be a different place and transformed for the better with warmer homes powered by green energy, many more cars powered by electricity and far less reliance on fossil fuels to drive our economy.”

However, while this is viewed as a victory for the coalition in terms of living up to its ‘greenest ever’ pledge, not all are convinced.

The solar industry is still facing a great amount of uncertainty, as it is still unclear how much the feed-in tariff rates will be cut by in the coming months. While Huhne reassures investors that confidence can be restored, the increase of targets announced today does not lie with previous cuts to the renewables budget.

In fact, Government admits that, “Under the fourth carbon budget, Government will aim to reduce emissions domestically as far as practical and affordable, but also intends to keep open the option of trading in order to retain maximum flexibility and minimise costs in the medium-long term.”