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Climate Change Law is World-First

Labour’s MPs in Bristol have welcomed the Government’s tough stance on cutting carbon emissions.  The Queen gave Royal Assent to the Climate Change Act today, which is the first of its kind in the world.  The Act makes the UK the first country in the world to have a legally binding long term framework to cut emissions and adapt to climate change. Dawn's certificate from Friends of the Earth

Commenting, Dawn Primarolo, Labour MP for Bristol South and Public Health Minister, said:

 “The Act is a measure of the Government’s commitment to tackling a problem which faces us all.  We know that we must cut our carbon emissions drastically in order to avert the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change.  Literally hundreds of residents have contacted me about this important piece of legislation, and the Act is an important step to getting things on track.”

Roger Berry, MP for Kingswood, added:

 “I think, when we look back in 50 years, people will view this as one of the most important pieces of legislation our Labour Government has passed.  The effects of climate change are already being felt – most often and most severely by the poorest people in the world.  Even in the UK, we are seeing more and more extreme weather events.  That’s why we need to ensure that we are adapting to climate change now.  Powers in this Act will ensure that Ministers can make public bodies produce action plans showing exactly how they’re going to adapt.”

Kerry McCarthy MP, who has been contacted by nearly a thousand residents about climate change, explained how the Government has listened to people’s concerns.

“This piece of legislation has been almost universally welcomed.  I know, however, that my constituents want to see us do everything we possibly can to tackle climate change.  That’s why I’m delighted that the Government has listened to the concerns of people from across Bristol.  Government backed amendments to the Act mean that the Government’s target will be a reduction in our emissions of 80 per cent by 2050, not the 60 per cent that was originally proposed.  We’ve also recognised the importance of including aviation and shipping emissions in our targets, and will be working to ensure that these emitters are not left out.” 

Doug Naysmith, MP for Bristol North-West, concluded:

“The UK has once again showed that it is leading the world in tackling climate change.  But the work really starts now.  By next spring, the Government will be producing its first low carbon Britain plan.  The plan will set out exactly how we intend to meet our challenging targets.  Above all, we must recognise that climate change is a global problem which needs a global solution.  Other countries are now considering similar legislation, and it is vital that we work with our partners both in Europe and across the world, to help tackle climate change.  The world simply won’t wait any longer.”

[26 November 2008]

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