The UK’s fifth carbon budget, announced in parliament on 30 June, 2016, by Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has set out a new legally binding emissions reduction target for 2030.

Phil Hurley, managing director at renewable heating manufacturer NIBE, has praised the carbon budget’s long-term commitment to tackling climate change – but has called for more robust action in the wake of the EU referendum.

Mr Hurley said: “There’s no denying the uncertainty that's facing the renewable heating industry following the decision to leave the EU. While we still have a long way to go before stability returns, the long-term goal set out in the fifth carbon budget is an important first step.

“Amber Rudd has confirmed that we will be subject to a legally binding target to cut emissions by 57% by 2030 (compared to 1990 levels). This much-needed injection of confidence shows that the government is still very much committed to building a lower carbon future for the UK.

“Despite all the unanswered questions about our ongoing relationship with the rest of Europe – and how this will impact a renewable heating industry that’s been largely driven by EU directives – the UK now has a 2030 target that’s significantly more ambitious than the EU’s own.”

Mr Hurley continued: “If we’re going to meet this target, renewable heat has a crucial role to play. What we need now is a clear strategy to support deployment of renewable heating technologies on the necessary scale – including meeting the challenge of installing 6.8m domestic heat pumps by 2030. This means reassurance about the future of current legislative frameworks. Priorities should be the Energy-related Products Directive, as well as the Renewable Heat Incentive: a scheme that firmly positioned the UK as a global renewables pioneer.

“As a European company and a huge advocate of the British renewable heating industry, here at NIBE, we remain confident about the new emissions target. With ongoing investment in product development and installer training, the UK has the technology and the installer talent to make the numbers work. It’s now up to the government to make the next move.”