The new Secretary for Climate Change and Energy, Ed Miliband has a lot to think about in his first week in office. For over a year the Government has avoided committing to an 80 percent cut in CO2 emissions by 2050 despite a big campaign from Friends of the Earth and members of Stop Climate Chaos including the Woodland Trust for them to take this step. Instead they have been sticking to their target of a 60 percent cut which is based on science produced back in 2000.
Gordon Brown has consistently claimed that he needed the opinion of the committee on climate change before he’d consider increasing the targets in the Climate Change Bill. Now it looks like the committee is recommending an 80 percent cut. We need Ed Miliband to act to amend the Bill to reflect the scientific consensus that emission cuts of this magnitude are needed.
This would leave one outstanding issue that still needs addressing – aviation and shipping emissions should be included too. It’s reported that the committee have pointed out that these emissions are problematic and would put a lot of pressure on the rest of the economy to decarbonise further. While the Government is amending the Bill they should take action on aviation and shipping emissions too.
This is a great success for all those organisations who’ve been pushing the Government to recognise the latest science in the Bill and I should say a big thank you to the thousands of Woodland Trust supporters who have been working on this over the past few years. The pressure of thousands of people has forced the Government’s hand, on having a Climate Change Bill in the first place and now giving hope that we could end up with a truly radical piece of legislation.
You can read the Committee Chairman’s letter to Ed Miliband here