United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Carbon bill heads for parliament

The UK government's long term goal of a 60% cut in carbon emissions is to be made legally binding in a bill due to go through parliament in the coming session. The climate change bill will also include plans for a new independent carbon committee to advise on emission reductions. The government says the bill will contain "appropriate interim targets" for carbon cuts. Environment minister David Miliband is resisting calls for annual targets which he brands as "silly" and can be affected by short term changes in the weather. It is more important to know that over the medium term the country is on track to meet its goals, he says. Miliband favours five year rolling targets rather than annual benchmarks, but this may not be enough for some of the government's own backbenchers and the Conservatives in opposition, who are calling for annual targets. Almost two-thirds of all members of parliament have signed up to an "early day motion" calling for annual cuts in carbon dioxide emissions. At 412 signatures, the motion received more votes than any other during the past session of parliament.

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