Under the heading "The outlook is unsettled - and unsettling", The Times today published a letter to the editor from Ashok Sinha, director of Stop Climate Chaos - the coalition behind the I Count campaign.
The correspondence reflected the coalition's concern that, although it genuinely welcomes the Government's efforts to put into place the world's first legally binding legislation on tackling climate change, it does not believe the changes to the Bill announced on Monday by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn go far enough.
The letter reads as follows:
The Government has done well on climate change, but needs to do better
Sir, This week the Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, announced the Government’s response to the public consultation on its proposed climate change Bill. Stop Climate Chaos, a coalition of over 60 NGOs, warmly welcomes the leadership the Government is showing by committing the UK to becoming the first country in the world with a binding legal framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
However, the Bill’s goals still fall far short of the measures needed to help keep global warming below the danger threshold of 2 degrees C.
First, the target of a 60 per cent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 is outdated, as the Government’s own Stern report demonstrates. If replicated by other industrialised countries the world would warm by perhaps 4C or more, with catastrophic consequences for humans and ecosystems. The announced review of this target is positive, but we know enough about the science of climate change to increase the target to at least 80 per cent now.
Secondly, emissions from aviation and shipping must be included. Emissions from these sectors are large and growing. They cannot be simply wished away.
Finally, the proposed five-year cycle of targets is a recipe for one government passing the buck to the next. We need annual milestones to prevent this.
The UK Government must act with bravery and commitment, especially if we are to persuade others to follow suit. Future generations will not forgive anything less.
Dr Ashok Sinha
Director, I Count, the campaign of the Stop Climate Chaos coalition.
There's still time to see our Top 3 Changes added to the Bill before it is voted on in Parliament in spring 2008. And badgering your MP is the best way make sure they know you count...
Click here to email your MP using our Climate Change Bill template >>
Click here to find out more about the Bill >>
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Click here to read the letter online >>
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published: 11:20 - 1 November 2007