As the Climate Change Bill approaches its final legislative phases in Parliament it emerges that it is the Conservatives who hold the ability to force the Government to accept much tighter requirements in terms of reducing carbon emissions.
Currently the Bill commits the UK to making a 60% reduction in emissions by 2050. However over 80 Labour MPs have signed an amendment to the Bill which will up his figure to an 80% reduction by 2050 – a huge target. Although defeated once, the rebels now have the support of the Liberal Democrats who will reinstate the amendment and thus force another vote.
Defeating the Government and forcing through the 80% figure will require the votes of Conservative MPs, but the frontbench team are currently awaiting a report from Lord Turner’s independent Climate Change Committee. The problem being that the committee isn’t due to report back until after the Bill has become law. Convenient that….