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Climate Change Bill Published

In response to the publication of the Climate Change Bill on Thursday 15 November


I Count - the UK’s largest campaign on climate change - welcomes the publication of the Climate Change Bill today but asks that the House of Lords, the first chamber to review the legislation, raise the carbon reduction target from 60 per cent to at least 80 per cent by 2050. This will mean keeping within the global warming danger threshold of 2 degrees C, which is an aim stated by the Government. 

Last month Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, claimed he would ask the newly formed independent Committee on Climate Change to review the 60 per cent figure, as well as the potential inclusion of aviation and shipping sectors.

Ashok Sinha, Director for I Count said: “The Lords has first innings at this landmark law and must see that an 80 per cent emissions target can’t wait. The proposed 60 per cent target in the legislation published today is not going to keep us the under the Government recognised global warming tipping point of 2 degrees C and a revision down the line will be too late”.

“We are confident that the Lords will also want to see shipping and aviation sectors included in the Bill as their absence is a huge omission in terms of their carbon contributions - as well as the introduction of annual milestones to check we are on track”.
If industrialised countries only delivered a 60 per cent carbon dioxide emission reduction target, and ignored aviation and shipping, we are likely to see a global temperature rise of 4 degrees C or more according to The Tyndall Centre.  An 80 per cent carbon reduction target equates to a 3 per cent reduction year on year for the UK. 

The Climate Change Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords on Wednesday November 14th with publication on Thursday November 15th. 


For interview (Ashok Sinha, Director of I Count) and further information contact Alison Blower on 0207729 8732 or 07967 698928. Images of I Count polar bears in royal costume at Parliament Square on the day of the Queen’s Speech with 80% placards when the legislation was announced are available on request.                                   

Notes to Editors:

1. I Count is the campaign of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition - showing the public and politicians that all our actions to reduce carbon emissions count.  We are the largest campaign on climate change and together we are millions of people and counting. www.icount.org.uk.

Alison Blower Media Coordinator - I Count campaign
Email: [email protected] Tel: 0207729 8732 Mob: 07967 698928

2. The UK’s Draft Climate Change Bill, announced in the Queens Speech, will be the first statue of its kind to legislate on carbon emissions anywhere in the world.  The Bill begins its passage in the House of Lords before being voted on by MPs in the Commons in Spring 2008.  I Count supporters and local groups from member organisations will be lobbying their MPs to ensure they put pressure on the UK Government and deliver a bold Bill which keeps the UK within the global warming danger warming threshold of 2 C with the following:

a. Increase the carbon dioxide reduction target, from 60% to at least 80 % by 2050.
b. Ensure that emissions from international aviation & shipping are included in the reduction targets.
c. Set binding carbon budgets with annual milestones, to make sure that emissions reductions are on track.

3.   Why the Bill needs an 80% carbon reduction limit.
If industrialised countries only delivered a 60% CO2 reduction target and ignored aviation and shipping then we would be looking at a temperature rise amounting to  4 degrees C or more according to The Tyndall Centre.  Industrialised countries must deliver at least an 80% cut in CO2 if global warming is to be kept under  2 degrees C.  The Stern Review* and the IPCC clearly state that an increase of 2 degrees C degrees or more will result in severe impacts such as the collapse of the Amazonian rainforest, the onset of irreversible melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the beginning of more than one billion people suffering water shortages1. This also means that 15% to 40% of species will potentially face extinction and in southern Europe, crop yields will decline by 20%.   

4.   I Count members include: Friends of the Earth, Christian Aid, Greenpeace, Oxfam, People & Planet, National Federation of Women’s Institutes, RSPB, Tearfund, World Wide Fund for Nature - UK (Board members), A Rocha, ACTSA, Action Aid, Airport Watch, BMS World Mission, CAFOD, Campaign against Climate Change, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Carplus, Climate Outreach and Information Network, Come off It, Ethical Consumer, Ethical Jobs, From Greenhouse to Green House, Garden Organic, Glasgow Eco-Renovation Network, Global Student Forum, Green TV, Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Science, Islamic Relief, Medact, National Commission for Justice and Peace, The National Trust for Scotland, Operation Noah, Plan B, Practical Action, Road Block, SAOCC, Save our World, SCIAF (Scottish Action on Climate Change), Shared Energy, SPEAK, Spokes, Surfers Against Sewage, Sustrans, Take Global Warming Seriously, The Wildlife Trusts, Transport 2000, UNA, Unison, Women's Environmental Network, Woodland Trust, World Development Movement, Youth Against Climate Change.

*Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change, Sept 07