The Labour party has stated that it intends to introduce a carbon reduction target before the next general election. 

It is perhaps the first firm commitment the opposition party has announced as it aims to take office in the next term.

The announcement came at RenewableUK Offshore Wind conference in Manchester, with shadow energy minister Tom Greatrex on hand to deliver the party's promise. 

Labour has said that a decarbonisation target would be set for 2030, echoing a similar policy introduced by First Minister Alex Salmond and the Scottish National Party. 

"Labour will continue to push for a 2030 target as it's absolutely crucial to give the renewable energy sector long-term certainty," Mr Greatrex told the conference. 

"Today I can announce that that if we don't get that target set in the Energy Bill, it will be in Labour's manifesto for the next general election," he added. 

The coalition government has failed to implement such a target, despite strong support to do so from the Liberal Democrats. The Conservative Party has suggested that such a move would cause energy prices to rise for UK households, which would be particularly detrimental to families during times of austerity. 

However, Labour argues that such a target would actually help to reduce energy bills and encourage a move away from expensive gas and to more renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaics or wind power. 

Shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint also suggested that failure to tackle the rising cost of energy bills will not only damage efforts to respond to climate change, but would suggest that the country is not serious about energy security. 

"The transition to a low-carbon economy has the potential to be a major source of growth and prosperity, but the Government’s failure to back a decarbonisation target means businesses will choose to invest and create jobs elsewhere," she said.