Thanks to all of your campaign pressure - your Valentines cards to MPs, going to visit them, and big public meetings about the Climate Change Bill - the Government has now announced that it will set an annual target range for emissions reductions (what we’ve been calling annual milestones).
This was announced by Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment on Monday 18 February 2008.
Our demand for annual milestones, was one of 3 key changes we want to see made to the Bill. We’ve been calling for them as a way to ensure that the UK stays on track with its emissions reductions.
The Government’s proposal requires Ministers to publish an "indicative annual range" for carbon emissions for each of the years in a 5-year carbon budget. In other words, they will not say "in 2013 we are aiming for 500 MtC" but will say "in 2013 carbon emissions should be between 590 and 610 MtC". The exact range of the range is to be defined; but Ministers have indicated it will be designed simply to account for variations that are hard to control - like a cold winter.
Our demand for annual milestones was one of 3 demands. So it’s 1 down, 2 to go. The remaining two are:
• Increase the carbon dioxide target from 60, to at least 80%.
• Include the UK’s share from international aviation and shipping in the emissions reduction targets.
On the level of the target, we have seen some progress. Hilary Benn announced on 18 February that the Climate Change Bill will require the expert independent Climate Change Committee to examine this by 1 December.
While a step forward, this still isn’t good enough - everyone accepts that the target of 60% is based on old science, and there’s no need to wait for this. The science is clear that a target of at least 80% cuts in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 should be put on the face of the Bill now. In fact three former chairs of the Royal Commissions on Environmental Pollution (who first recommended a 60% target in 2000) have since written to Government saying the Bill must have an 80% target.
Our campaign success on annual milestones shows that the Government is listening to us, so let’s keep the pressure up. Keep on contacting your MP by email, letter, visiting them, organising public meetings and please take part in the Week of Action (Sunday 30 March - Saturday 5 April) - until the Government announces that it’s going to make these two changes to the Bill too.
So enjoy the campaign success, and keep the pressure up on the remaining two demands.
Click here for Week of Action information >>
Click here to find out more about what the Government said >>
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