23 May 2008
Senior MPs have urged the Carbon Trust to do more to cut carbon dioxide emissions, in a report published on May 20.
The trust was set up by the government to help businesses and public sector organisations reduce their emissions. It is on track to meet its own 2010 target of an annual cut of 4.4 million tonnes, the Commons Public Accounts Committee says.
But this compares with the government target of a reduction of 118 million tones per year from 1990 levels.
PAC chair Edward Leigh said: 'The trust's contribution is pretty small beer. It can surely do a lot better, especially given soaring fuel prices and the consequent public desire to cut energy use.
'Now is the time for the Carbon Trust to get out there, work with businesses and other bodies and persuade them to cut their emissions.'
Leigh said that the trust needed to be far more ambitious in providing small businesses in particular with evidence that improving their energy efficiency made commercial sense.
It should also be more forward-thinking in helping them with its free loan incentive scheme, he added.
In 2006/07, the trust achieved a reduction in emissions of between 1.2 million and 2.0 million tones, according to the PAC. But this was a minor contribution in the context of increasing global energy costs and increased public awareness of climate change, the MPs say.
The trust received funding of £100.2m in 2006/07, of which £77.1m came from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and £23.1m from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.