Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Climate bill's 60% emission cut

Chimneys
The UK will be the first nation to put carbon emissions levels into law

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has committed the UK to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60% before 2050 to help tackle global warming.

The Climate Change Bill will make the UK the first country to put carbon emissions reduction targets into law.

An independent committee on climate change will be set up to advise on "five-year carbon budgets" - part of a new commitment to carbon reduction.

Environmentalists welcomed the move, but said higher targets were needed.

The government must strengthen its proposed legislation if it is to be truly effective and deliver the scale of action that scientists are now calling for
Tony Juniper
Friends of the Earth

While the bill will also enforce reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of between 26% and 32% by 2020, Mr Brown previously said he would consult the new committee to see if bigger reductions were required.

Green campaigners have urged the government to go further.

A report from think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research, the RSPB and WWF on Monday claimed the government's 60% target did not go far enough.

Instead, it claimed Britain could achieve an 80% cut by 2050.

Yearly targets 'needed'

Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, said he was "delighted" the UK was to become the first country "to introduce legislation to cut its contribution to climate change".

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"But the government must strengthen its proposed legislation if it is to be truly effective and deliver the scale of action that scientists are now calling for."

He said Britain needed to set yearly targets, as well as show a commitment to reducing emissions by 80% by the middle of the century.

He also called on the government to include international aviation and shipping, which are currently not covered by the Bill.

Along with the measures on climate change, the Queen's Speech also included an Energy Bill, which aims to reduce emissions while ensuring secure energy supplies.

It will allow private investment in offshore gas supply projects as well as carbon capture and storage, and boost renewable energy in the UK.




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