Secretary of State Edward Davey said:
“We have reached an important milestone. The UK has met its first carbon budget, which is the first step in fulfilling our commitment to cut Britain’s emissions by 80% to 2050.
“The increase in emissions in 2012, compared to 2011, is of course worrying – but it needs to be put in the context of higher gas costs that made coal a more attractive fuel for electricity generation, and an increase in residential gas use due a very cold winter.
“Green investment has been booming in the UK, with renewable electricity generation doubling and £31bn of renewable energy investment announced since 2010. Now with the Energy Act 2013, we can look forward not just to hitting our renewable targets for 2020, but beating them.”