Plans to limit the carbon emissions of future power stations are on the brink of being delayed until next parliament, in what would be a blow to the climate and energy secretary, green campaigners and business chiefs.
Ministers have been wrangling over whether to include a 2030 “decarbonisation target” for the power sector in the energy bill, which is expected to be published in parliament within the next fortnight.
The Guardian understands a decision on such a target now risks being delayed until after the next general election. A senior source close to the talks said: “It’s been a very difficult negotiation, there has been talk of postponing the setting of a target until next parliament. But if we are to address investor concerns, it has to be addressed this parliament.”
However, the source added that the talks were still ongoing and “it is still possible that there could be agreement on a target to be set this parliament, and that will come down to how hard they want to negotiate on the Liberal Democrat side.”
A spokeswoman for the climate and energy secretary, Ed Davey, denied the target had been dropped or delayed. “We’ve not actually reached an agreement in government on the various energy negotiations we’ve been having,” she told the Guardian.