UK on track to miss carbon targets, climate change advisers warn.

Guardian: “The coalition’s flagship insulation programmes have failed to put the UK on the right track to meet its commitments on cutting greenhouse gases, a review by the statutory advisers on climate change has found.”
“The number of cavity wall insulations – one of the most effective measures for cutting energy use – has plunged by more than two-thirds owing to a change in government schemes to encourage insulation.
The judgement is the first clear statutory assessment of the “green deal” and “energy company obligation”, the government’s twin schemes to cut energy wastage by investing in efficiency measures for domestic properties, and has found both wanting.
….The energy company obligation, under which the big six energy generators and others had to provide insulation to a large number of households in social housing and vulnerable situations, was also drastically changed by the current government, resulting in a far lesser obligation on the companies.
If policies remain the same, the UK will cut carbon dioxide emissions by only about 21% to 23% from 2013 to 2025, compared with the government’s own targets of a reduction of 31% over the same period, according to the Committee on Climate Change, the body set up under the Climate Change Act to provide independent advice to ministers on how to meet carbon targets.
Adrian Gault, of the CCC, told the Guardian that the interest rate currently charged on homes wishing to make improvements such as loft or cavity wall insulation, or double glazing, should be halved to about 3.5% in order to attract takers.
The current scheme, under which householders can take out long term loans of as much as 25 years with interest rates of as much as 8%, rather than receive grants or other incentives, as under previous schemes, has resulted in a substantial decline in the number of people gaining insulation, according to recent research.
The CCC reported on Tuesday that progress on energy efficiency had “plummeted”– for instance, more than 600,000 cavity walls were insulated in 2012 but only 170,000 were in 2013.
The authors of the CCC report said the green deal and ECO schemes should be altered to provide more of incentive to people to take up the opportunities, which account for a large slice of the UK’s ability to cut emissions.”