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Cambridge Liberal Democrats

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Julian Huppert MP

Set sights higher for Climate Change Bill - Howarth

August 3, 2007 1:00 PM

David Howarth, Lib Dem MP for Cambridge, has called for a stronger Climate Change Bill.

David was a member of the committee examining the draft Climate Change Bill which reported its findings today. He welcomed the committee's proposal to introduce annual reports on the Government's progress toward carbon reduction targets and welcomed a limit on relying on buying overseas 'carbon credits' rather than reducing the UK's carbon emissions. He commented:

"The Government's first attempt at a Climate Change bill had serious weaknesses. The Government's proposed five year targets are likely to mean that climate change will remain on the political back-burner. Governments will have no incentive to cut emissions when the targets will be examined after they've left power.

"We need, and I'm pleased that this report backs this up, annual reports on the Government's progress and parliament needs the opportunity to debate this progress and any action plans to reduce carbon emissions.

"The Government's proposal to use foreign carbon credits to meet 70% of our emissions targets is outrageous. It puts off creating a low carbon economy in the UK and relies on other countries to make the necessary change. The committee has rightly taken a tough line on foreign credits. I hope the Government listens."

David is also concerned about three issues not covered by the Committee's report. He proposes that:

- the UK's overall carbon emissions reduction target should be raised from a 60% reduction to a higher figure in line with the latest scientific evidence

- the Bill should be expanded to set targets for the reduction of all greenhouse gases not just carbon dioxide

- the Bill's targets should include emissions from international aviation, which the Government has excluded

David added:

David Howarth and Neale Upstone outside wind turbine

David Howarth joins Cllr Neale Upstone to investigate wind power

"There is still work to be done to ensure that we get the strong Climate Change Bill which we need. When the Bill returns to Parliament in the autumn, we will be tabling amendments to set higher emissions reduction targets and to make sure that we don't ignore the growing emissions from international air travel."