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Businesses call for 2030 carbon target for power sector

The Government must put a 2030 target in place to decarbonise the power sector, 50 businesses have argued.

Such a target would stimulate investment in the UK and refurbish ageing infrastructure, they say in a letter to Chancellor George Osborne.

Osborne has previously been opposed to a 2030 target, and instead supports new gas-fired power stations. Labour and the Liberal Democrats support a 2030 carbon target.

It would in effect ensure almost all of the UK’s electricity would be from low-carbon sources and would require a huge expansion of renewable energy.

The businesses, which include big names from a number of industries such as Asda, Microsoft and Sky, have not specified a target, but simply call for a target to be put in place. They are coordinated by the Aldersgate Group, a coalition of businesses that support a greener economy.

The letter reads: “The Government's perceived commitment to the low carbon transition is being undermined by recent statements calling for unabated gas in the power sector beyond 2030 and the absence of a specific carbon intensity target.”

Peter Young, chairman of the Aldersgate Group, said: “The message of this letter is loud and clear: we must put an end to any political uncertainty surrounding the UK's energy future and start unleashing the billions of pounds of overdue investment which will deliver new growth for our economy.

“Both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties understand this huge growth opportunity and backed a 2030 carbon target for the power sector at their party conferences. Now the Conservative party must step up to the mark and provide the full cross-party support which businesses have been calling for.”

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