News story

Whitehall exceeds 10% carbon reduction target

Prime Minister David Cameron announced government buildings cut almost 14% of carbon emissions from 2010 to 2011, saving an estimated £13 million.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that carbon emissions from government HQs and offices have been slashed by nearly 14% in just one year and told Whitehall it would have to go further by cutting emissions by 25% by 2015.

Energy bills have been cut by an estimated £13 million as a result of cutting energy wastage in Government departments. The 10% target, set by the PM in May last year, covered around 300,000 civil servants in 3,000 buildings. Between 14 May 2010 and 13 May 2011 over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 was saved.

Downing Street recorded a 10.8% reduction in carbon emissions over the target period.

The new 25% target for cutting carbon emissions will have an increased scope and include business related transport.

Mr Cameron said achieving a 13.8% cut in emissions was something the civil service should be very proud of.

But to be the greenest government ever we need to do more to stamp out energy waste in Whitehall, and make it easier for people and business to use energy more efficiently. That’s why I’m committing the Government to go further by reducing emissions by 25 per cent by 2015.

The Government also announced today a series of business-led trials aimed at making it easier for people to insulate their homes and reduce fuel bills. The energy efficiency trials, many of which will include joint working with local authorities, will begin in September and will test how best to encourage people to take up the Green Deal.

The Green Deal, which will start in Autumn 2012 and is currently being discussed in Parliament, will mean that households will be able to invest in home improvements at no upfront cost and repay through the expected savings on energy bills.

The trials are outlined in a new report from the Government’s Behavioural Insights Team and will be carried out and evaluated in time for the national roll out of the Green Deal.

Businesses will also be invited to make a public commitment to reducing energy use as part of a new Responsibility Deal.

See: The Prime Minister’s 10% Challenge (YouTube)

Read more: Department energy data (Cabinet Office website)

Read more: Behavioural change and energy use report (Cabinet Office website)

Previous story: Central government emissions to be cut - May 2010

Published 6 July 2011