UK aims at reducing water consumption On 14 February 2008 the UK government presented a strategy to reduce water consumption in order to tackle climate change. According to Environment Secretary Hilary Benn, “securing and maintaining water supplies is vital to the prosperity of the country and to the health of people and the environment.” The strategy includes reducing per capita water consumption by 30 liters per day by 2030, a review of the water charging system and proposals to tackle water surface drainage and water pollution. This strategy is part of a greater scheme as the UK government is considering to raise its carbon dioxide emission reduction commitments up to 80% by 2050.
British PM delivers speech on climate change Prime Minister Gordon Brown held his first environment related speech on 19 November 2007, when he expressed the importance of international action against climate change. The PM confirmed the UK commitment to contribute to the realisation of the EU 20% renewable energy target. He reiterated the UK plans for a 60% greenhouse gas emission reduction by 2050 and mentioned the possibility to raise the target to 80%.
UK Parliamentary Committee concludes likely failure to comply with emission targets A report entitled “The structure of Government and the challenge of climate change” was published by the Environmental Audit Committee, a parliamentary body appointed by the House of Commons to examine environmental protection and sustainable development implications of policies, on 16 October 2007. The report establishes that the Government is likely to fail to reach the domestic carbon emission targets it has set to itself. In order to deliver better results and preserve the leading role of the UK in reaching a post-Kyoto agreement, the Committee suggests the creation of a Climate Change and Energy Secretariat to ensure greater coherency among the government institutions involved.
Voluntary offset code approved On 13 July 2007, the UK government announced the approval of a voluntary code of best practice for the provision of carbon offsetting to UK customers. This means that offsetting providers or companies that sell offsets will be able to choose whether they want accreditation for their products. The final form of the new voluntary code will be discussed in autumn of this year.
Gordon Brown’s draft bill In July 2007, the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown released his draft government programme. In this legislative programme the climate change bill and the energy bill deal with the environment. The purpose of the first is to set up a long term legal framework to reduce the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions up to 2050 and after. In the meantime, the purpose of the energy bill is to help Great Britain to guarantee secure supplies of energy, deal with climate change and address fuel poverty measures more effectively
Draft climate change bill puts UK in the lead On 13 March 2007, the UK government presented a draft climate change bill. This bill has as its key points: binding targets to reduce emissions by 60 percent in 2050, binding five-year climate change budgets, which are set fifteen years ahead, to keep things clear, creating a Committee on Climate Change and regular and transparent reporting. The
draft bill is currently open for public consultation, with a closing date of 12 June 2007, and will also have to be ratified by parliament.
UK manifesto on climate change On 6 March 2007, the United Kingdom proposed a manifesto on EU climate change measures after 2012 (when the second phase of the EU Carbon trading scheme expires). This manifesto suggests rather fargoing reduction targets to at least 2030. It has been signed by more than 40 businesses and NGOs. Among others, the manifesto calls for long term clarity for businesses, so they know what they can expect and an increase in EU harmonisation to keep industry's playing field as fair as possible.