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Hull MP welcomes Government plan on climate change

Hull North MP Diana Johnson today welcomed the Government’s newly-published draft Climate Change Bill, the first of its kind in any country.

The draft Climate Change Bill, and accompanying strategy, sets out a framework for moving the UK to a low-carbon economy, demonstrating the UK’s leadership in progress continues towards establishing a post-2012 global emissions agreement.

Key points of the draft Bill include:

A series of clear targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions – including making the UK’s target for a 60 per cent reduction by 2050 and a 26 to 32 per cent reduction by 2020 legally binding.

A new system of legally binding five year “carbon budgets”, set at least 15 years ahead, to provide clarity on the UK’s pathway towards its key targets and increase the certainty that businesses and individuals need to invest in low-carbon technologies.

A new statutory body, the Committee on Climate Change, to provide independent expert advice and guidance to Government on achieving its targets and staying within its carbon budgets.

New powers to enable the Government to more easily implement policies to cut emissions.

A new system of annual open and transparent reporting to Parliament. The Committee on Climate Change will provide an independent progress report to which the Government must respond. This will ensure the Government is held to account every year on its progress towards each five-year carbon budget and the 2020 and 2050 targets.
A requirement for the Government to regularly report on current and predicted impacts of climate change and on its proposals for adapting to climate change.

The draft bill will be subject to a full public consultation alongside pre-legislative scrutiny in Parliament.

The strategy paper sets out a how the Climate Change Bill fits into the Government’s wider international strategy and a range of future domestic policies to achieve its aims. It argues that all sectors of society will have to contribute to the transition to a low-carbon economy, but that this does not mean a reduction in standards of living.

It sets out a vision for how the UK can move to a low carbon economy including:

Investment in low-carbon fuels and technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, wind, wave and solar power.

Significantly more efficient use of energy.

A step change in the way energy suppliers operate so that they focus on reducing demand rather than just supplying as much energy as possible.

Consumers becoming producers as well as consumers of energy.

Diana Johnson MP said: “Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing this country and it will certainly have an impact on us in Hull unless radical action is taken across the World. I am therefore pleased that our Government is leading the way both on the international and the national level.

“I hope constituents will join me in pledging support for this strategy and look individually at how they can reduce there own personal carbon emissions. I know that climate change, and the technologies needed to combat it, is both a vital task for the coming decades and an opportunity for growth in local jobs and enterprise in Hull.”

David Miliband MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “With climate change we can’t just close our eyes and cross our fingers. We need to step up our action to tackle it, building on our considerable progress so far. And time isn’t on our side.

“This Bill is a critical part of the equation, demonstrating leadership through action at home, while also continuing to work towards a strong international agreement post 2012. Crucially the Climate Change Bill, the first of its kind in any country, demonstrates our determination that this role will continue.

“Government must rightly lead from the front on this, but we want everyone – the public, industry, Parliament – to have their say to help us ensure that the Bill really delivers.”