The Government's long-awaited legislation that aims to secure billions of pounds of investment in low-carbon energy will not include a target to slash emissions from the power sector by 2030.
An estimated £110 billion is needed in the next decade to renew the UK's ageing electricity infrastructure, with much set to go into low-carbon power sources such as wind farms to cut emissions and keep the lights on.
The forthcoming Energy Bill, which aims to drive the investment, has been the subject of political wrangling within the coalition. Agreement has now been reached on contentious areas.
Significantly, the Bill will not include a limit for the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted per megawatt hour of power from the electricity sector by 2030, although the legislation will include the power to set a target in 2016 if it is considered necessary.
Earlier, opposition leader Ed Miliband added his voice to calls from business leaders and campaigners for the Energy Bill to set a goal to decarbonise power supplies by 2030 to give investors certainty to back renewables, carbon capture and storage technology, and nuclear reactors in the UK, rather than taking their money elsewhere.