The Climate Change (Sectoral Targets) Bill had its first reading on 21 January 2009 and was due to have its second reading on 8 May 2009. However, the second reading is now expected to take place on 12 June 2009.

The central aim of the Bill is to help the UK meet its 80% carbon reduction target, whilst trying to ensure that energy needs can be satisfied going forwards. The targets set generally reflect existing Government stated objectives but go a step further by making each of them binding.

A copy of the Bill has been published and can be viewed by clicking here.

Purpose

The Bill states that its purposes is to:

  • help ensure that any targets for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom that are specified in any Act are met;
  • help ensure that the energy needs of the United Kingdom, as determined by the Secretary of State, are met; and
  • to contribute to international efforts to combat climate change.

Sectoral targets

The Bill has set initial sectoral targets which relate to energy efficiency in residential accommodation and commercial and public services. It has also set targets relating to the quality of electricity generated from renewable sources; the amount of combined heat and power capacity (10GW by 2010) and the number of dwellings with one or more microgeneration installations.

These targets are:

  • an increase in the general level of energy efficiency of residential accommodation by a minimum of 20 per cent from the 2010 baseline figure by the end of 2020;
  • a decrease in the general level of energy usage in the commercial and public sector by:
    • a minimum of 10 per cent from the 2005 baseline figure by the end of 2010, and
    • a minimum of 10 per cent from the 2010 baseline figure by the end of 2020;
  • an increase in the proportion of electricity generated from renewable sources to a level
    • 10 per cent by the end of 2010, and
    • 20 per cent by the end of 2020;
  • a total of 10 gigawatts of combined heat and power capacity to be installed by the end of 2010;
  • an increase in the number of dwellings with one (or more than one) microgeneration installation to a total of eight times the number of such dwellings which existed at the end of 2007, to be achieved by the end of 2012;
  • 80 per cent of dwellings to achieve a Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating of 80 or above by the end of 2016;
  • all new dwellings built from the beginning of 2016 to be zero carbon;
  • all dwellings occupied by vulnerable households to achieve a SAP rating of 65 or above by 2010.