• New climate minister calls timing of 5th budget flexible
  • U.K. plan to meet climate goals was expected this year

The U.K. government may need to delay until next year the release of a plan on how the country will meet carbon reduction targets for 2030, according to the new climate minister.

In his first public comments since his appointment last month, Minister of Climate Change Nick Hurd said Tuesday that he’s reviewing the country’s progress to date and he doesn’t want to release a plan that won’t meet the goal.

The fifth carbon-reduction plan had been expected by the end of this year, and the June vote to exit the European Union has complicated environmental policy. The plan must balance the need to fight climate change while meeting the country’s emissions targets at the lowest cost. It’s expected to provide a signal to investors on how the nation will meet its environmental goals by 2030, as well as reach a long-term objective of curbing emissions 80 percent by 2050.

“I think there’s some flexibility around the publication,” Hurd said at a climate-change event in London. “It’s more important to get this right than to rush something out that doesn’t hit the target.”

The U.K. currently spews about 500 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year, mainly from power plants, cars and industry.

Hurd also said the U.K. would ratify the Paris climate change deal “as soon as possible.”

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