By Max Clarke

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister backed cross-Government action plan on climate change has been launched today which sets strict actions and deadlines that Whitehall will have to meet to ensure that the Government lives up to its ‘Greenest Government’ ever aim.

To be initially published in draft ahead of a final version in the Autumn, the Carbon Plan will be updated annually allowing NGOs and green activists to suggest amendments.

In a foreword to the document, the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change wrote:

"This Carbon Plan sets out a vision of a changed Britain, powered by cleaner energy used more efficiently in our homes and businesses, with more secure energy supplies and more stable energy prices, and benefiting from the jobs and growth that a low carbon economy will bring.

“Becoming a low carbon economy will be one of the greatest changes our country has ever known. But it is a change for the better, for our economy, our society, and for the planet. This Carbon Plan shows how, together, we can make it happen."

Providing analysis on the carbon action plan and its implications for business is Dr Neil Bentley, CBI Deputy Director-General:

“Now the Government has set out the timeline for making the shift to a low-carbon economy, it must stick to it.

“Businesses need policy certainty and clarity to commit to low-carbon investment, but they still don’t know how key initiatives will work, including the new planning system and the Green Deal.

“If the Government is really serious about showing businesses that it wants to help them become more energy efficient, it should restore the revenue-recycling element of the Carbon Reduction Commitment in the Budget.”

On the Green Deal:
“Increasing apprenticeships through the Green Deal is good news, but the Government must address questions of financing and consumer uptake to make the scheme a success.”

On the Carbon Capture and Storage:
“The announcement of the winner of the first Carbon Capture and Storage demonstration plant is long overdue, so investors shouldn’t have to wait until the end of the year for a decision.”

On electric vehicles:
“The Government is right to highlight electric vehicle infrastructure as a key part of its low-carbon transport policy, but must now unclog the local planning process for charging points and make a decision on the post-2012 phase of the consumer grants scheme.”