2009 has been heralded as a crucial year in tackling climate change and helping the UK meet its green objectives. In a statement released in a New Year message celebrating the creation of the new Department of Energy and Climate Change, Mr Milliband said that 2008 had been ‘historic’, referring to legislation passed in late November.
The secretary of state of Energy and Climate change also paid particular attention to the upcoming Copenhagen International Summit which will seek to look beyond the goals set out in the Kyoto Agreement whose objectives only go onto 2012.
Milliband said, “We have seen significant progress during 2008 in our goals of developing secure, affordable and clean energy, and tackling the threat of global warming. In 2009, the world will meet again to agree a new international deal on climate change, while in the UK we will be laying out the groundwork for long-term energy efficiency improvements and carbon reduction measures.
“However 2009 will be a crucial year when it comes to negotiating a meaningful, binding climate change deal in Copenhagen. There is still much to be done, but I’m confident we can achieve a global deal” added the Minister.
The decision to introduce feed-in tariffs and mandatory smart meters have been the most important innovations of the newly established department. Feed-in tariffs are seen as essential to the implementation of a cost effective renewable energy industry in the UK and will indeed play a fundamental role in the adherence to both the Kyoto standards and any targets set out in Copenhagen’s climate summit.
In the Department’s New Year message, it also highlighted achievements made in the field of carbon emissions trading, where the UK saw the world’s first auction of carbon emissions allowances in November under Phase II of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. This year should see preparations for more organisations to join emissions trading activities.