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UK to slash carbon emissions by 80 per cent

Energy and Climate Change secretary Ed Miliband has committed the UK to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent on 1990 levels. The agreement is part of a global deal on climate change and is set to be in effect by 2050.

In a wide-ranging statement Miliband:

  • Backed the recommendations of Lord Turner’s Climate Change Committee and said the government would make the target binding in law.
  • Said he plans to bring an amendment to the energy bill, also currently before the house to introduce a ‘feed in tariff’ to support small-scale renewables and to make a further announcement soon on encouraging renewable heat.
  • Made it clear that unless energy companies demonstrate action to end overcharging for many customers on pre-payment meters, he was prepared to consult on legislation to end unfair pricing.

The pledge follows a report last week by the government-appointed Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which warned that the UK must slash CO2 emissions by 80 per cent, not the previously agreed 60 per cent target, because of the rate of climate change.

But Miliband hasn’t listened to recommendations from environmental groups that this 80 per cent target should apply to all industry sectors, including aviation and shipping. Instead, those emissions will continue to be offset by cuts in other areas.

He said:

“If we carry on flying in the way that we are and expanding airports, we need to do less of other things.”

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