Climate Change Bill campaign victory
Tearfund and the Stop Climate Chaos coalition today celebrated victory in their campaign to cut UK greenhouse gas emissions.
Ed Miliband, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, has announced that the UK will set a 2050 emissions reduction target of 80 per cent in the Climate Change Bill.
Tearfund, along with the Stop Climate Chaos coalition, has been pushing for the target that had been set at 60 per cent to be increased to 80 per cent.
Over the past two years, thousands of Tearfund supporters have prayed and lobbied and written to MPs and Ministers to raise concern about the impact climate change is having on the world’s poorest people.
Tearfund Advocacy Director Paul Cook said, `This is a victory for the coalition of campaigners who’ve done a sterling job making their MPs aware of the issues.
`We are pleased the government has announced a target that matches the science and gives the UK integrity on the international stage. This signals justice for people in the poorest countries who contribute least to carbon emissions, but are bearing the brunt of climate change.'
Push for more progress
But the failure to include the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions in the Climate Change Bill in today’s announcement, as recommended by the Climate Change Committee, is disappointing. The burden now rests with MPs to make sure that these highly polluting industries are not let off the hook.
Tearfund is also worried that the government may undermine these targets by seeking to buy in at least half their emissions cuts in the form of carbon credits from overseas.
Paul Cook said, `The science makes it clear that emissions cuts must take place at home in the UK, and that we must make bold decisions now on new green energy infrastructure.'
Tearfund also has major concerns about the government’s on-going plans to develop new unabated coal-fired power plants starting with Kingsnorth in Kent, which alone would emit as much C02 as the world’s 24 lowest emitting countries combined.
These plants are incompatible with today’s announcement - any decisions around the UK’s energy infrastructure must support investment in renewable power and energy efficiency and not undermine an 80 per cent target.
We need to urge MPs who will be voting on the Climate Change Bill in coming weeks to ensure that the vast bulk of emissions cuts are made in the UK – take action here.
But despite these shortcomings, we can still celebrate the 80 per cent target – a reward for over two years’ campaigning.