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Government are committed to achieving a reduction in the carbon dioxide emissions from its estate of 12.5 per cent., and from administrative road travel by 15 per cent., both by 2010-11. Progress against these targets is reported annually in the Sustainable Development in Government report. This latest assessment of performance, published in December 2008, shows that emissions from the office estate in 2007-08 were 2,642,623 tonnes of CO2, and emissions from administrative road vehicles were 148,762 tonnes. These represent a reduction of 6.3 per cent. and 10.3 per cent. respectively against the 1999-2000 baseline year. Departments separately reported data on air travel to the Government Carbon Off-setting Fund (GCOF) to comply with the mandate to off-set all international air travel.
The Government delivery plan for sustainable operations and procurement shows that Government have plans in place to achieve the further reductions required by 2010-11.
In July the Government published the UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, which set out the UK’s strategy for making the transition to a low carbon economy. Responsibility for delivering the strategy is shared across Government, and DECC is working closely with other departments to ensure the measures set out in the Transition Plan and associated documents are delivered effectively.
Government consulted earlier this year on amendments to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target. In taking final decisions, we took account of a broad range of views, including those of the National Insulation Association. Amendments came into force in July 2009 acting to increase the target by 20 per cent., increase the innovation ring-fence, remove non-retail CFL schemes as eligible and provide up-front scores for behavioural measures, namely real time displays and home energy advice. Given that behavioural measures were new to CERT we capped their promotion at 2 per cent. of a suppliers target and required they only be deployed following a direct request from a householder.
The primary aim of the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT, 2008-11) is to reduce carbon emissions in the household sector to contribute to national and international climate change targets. CERT and its predecessor the Energy Efficiency Commitment (EEC, 2002-08) has shown to be very effective, with EEC saving some 3.2 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2008 and CERT expected to add a further 5.6 million tonnes of CO2 savings by 2011. This mechanism has also proved to be very effective at getting measures into homes—for instance, some six million households have benefited from subsidised or free insulation since 2002, one million of these in the first year of CERT alone. Independent analysis has also demonstrated that this has been achieved cost-effectively—through EEC householders receiving ongoing benefits in the form of reduced energy bills and increased comfort with a net present value of £8.2 billion.