The government has published its plans to cut carbon emissions and move the economy towards a low carbon footing.

The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan plots out how the UK will meet the cut in emissions set out in the budget of 34% on 1990 levels by 2020.

Ed Miliband, secretary for the Department of Energy and Climate change (DECC), said that the plans were a route-map towards taking the C02 out of everyday living.

Miliband said: “Renewables, nuclear and clean fossil fuels are the trinity of low carbon and the future of energy in Britain. Under our plans we will get 40% of our electricity from low carbon energy by 2020 and more in the years afterwards.”

The plans state that by 2020:

  • More than 1.2 million people will be in green jobs
  • Seven million homes will enjoy pay-as-you-save home energy makeovers
  • Over 1.5 million households will be supported to produce their own clean energy
  • Around 40% of electricity will be from low carbon sources, from renewables, nuclear and clean coal
  • We will be importing half the amount of gas that we otherwise would
  • The average new car will emit 40% less carbon than now

The plan also sees the introduction of the Office for Renewable Energy Deployment. This new office has been launched to speed up the growth of renewables, and the speed at which planning decisions are made.

DECC will also take responsibility from Ofgem for establishing a new grid access regime within 12 months. The department will also launch a consultation on a feed-in tariff for individuals and communities who generate their own renewable power.

The secretary also promised up to £120m from low carbon investment funding to advance offshore wind; up to £60m in wave and tidal energy and £6m invested into geothermal.

Maria McCaffery, chief executive of the British Wind Energy Association (BWEA), welcomed the news. She said the government had “rightly ignored the siren calls to abandon wind as the driving force for reaching its targets.”

RIBA president Sunand Prasad also describing the plans as a “significant step forward in planning for the transition to a true low carbon economy.”

Paul Reeve, head of environment at the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), also praised the measures outlined in the white paper. Reeve said he would like to see more incentives introduced to encourage householders and businesses to go green, including a potential scrappage scheme for white goods.

“We would like to see the introduction of a range of green incentives,” said Reeve, “including an Energy Scrappage scheme, similar to the Government’s Vehicle Scrappage scheme, whereby anyone buying a ‘top energy performance’ replacement unit or white goods appliance would receive a ‘scrappage’ allowance equivalent to the prevailing rate of VAT.”

Miliband said that the plans showed Britain was “determined to play its part in the low carbon revolution”, particularly with the Copenhagen Climate summit approaching. The DECC secretary also said that a “global and ambitious deal was needed in Copenhagen.”