Climate Change Bill is a step forward - but concerns remain

March 13, 2007 3:42 PM

The Government's draft Climate Change Bill was published today.

David Howarth, MP for Cambridge, commented:

"The publication today of the draft Climate Change Bill is a real step forward and is thanks to the hard work of campaigners in Cambridge and across the country who lobbied the Government to take this matter seriously.

"The Bill sets out a good basic framework to deal with the problem of climate change. However, I have some concerns about the details.

"The Government has failed to set annual targets for carbon emissions reduction, instead intending to set carbon budgets every five years. Five years is too long to wait before the Government is held to account for whether they have met their emissions reduction targets. Annual targets would prevent climate change from falling to the bottom of the priority pile, to be constantly left for the next government to deal with.

"We also need to look at whether the targets are ambitious enough. A 60% reduction from 1990 levels by 2050 may not be enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change. It may be necessary to set targets as high as an 80% emissions but by 2050. These targets should not ignore the role of other greenhouse gases. The Climate Change Bill only sets targets for a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions; this needs to change.

"Now that targets have been set, we need to hear firm proposals from the Government on how they intend to meet them. Targets alone will not stop climate change. We need fairer and greener taxes to encourage individuals to reduce their greenhouse emissions. We also need to encourage the development of renewable and decentralised energy such as solar and wind power and we need to set much higher building and product standards to cut down waste through energy inefficiency.

David Howarth MP

David Howarth MP

"Today's Bill is a step in the right direction but now we need to make sure that it is followed up by real and urgent action to move towards a low-carbon economy."

What would you like to do next?