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Government insists carbon commitments will not change

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) has insisted there will be no change to the UK’s carbon reduction commitments, despite contrary insinuations by chancellor George Osborne this week.

Osborne insisted that Britain should cut carbon emissions “no faster or slower” than its European neighbours, in a Conservative Party Conference speech on Monday — but a Decc spokesman told NCE that the government is still working with the European Commission to persuade European Union countries to reduce their emissions by 30% on 1990 levels, up from the current 20% target.

Decc said the UK could still change its carbon floor price. Implementing a carbon floor price in 2013 is still a commitment, said Decc, but the government has the option to review the scheme in 2014 if the trading price is widely different to the floor price.

In March, the UK government became the first country to establish a carbon floor price within the EU’s emissions trading scheme. The UK has set the price at £16/t in 2013, rising to £30/t by 2020. The current trading price is €10.08 (£8.68), which has dropped from £14.78 in March this year.

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