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  • Published: Oct 29th, 2008
  • Category: UK
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UK industries to be forced to cut CO2 emissions

British industries will be forced to make larger cuts in their carbon emissions due to the inclusion of aviation in new laws to stop climate change, it has been claimed. The Climate Change Bill will commit the UK to cutting greenhouse gases by 80 per cent by 2050.

At first the legislation did not include emissions from international aviation and shipping, causing outrage among green groups. However in the face of a backbench rebellion, Joan Ruddock, the climate change minister, yesterday agreed to include emissions from the industry in the Bill.

The law will now require the Government to take account of projected emissions from aviation and shipping when setting the five yearly budgets. However it will not force the industry to make particular cuts because as yet there is no way to measure accurately each country’s contribution to international transport emissions.

Ms Ruddock said: “The fact is we are saying we will have due regard, as the committee recommended, to the emissions from aviation and shipping but we cannot account for them domestically at this present time.”

Steve Webb, the Lib Dem spokesman on climate change, said other industries that will be subject to accounting will have to increase carbon cuts in order to meet the budgets because the target will become much tighter having taken emissions from aviation into account.

He said: “You [Ms Ruddock] have just said it’s very unlikely that we will be able to get aviation emissions down by 80 per cent by 2050, so the rest of the economy takes a hit on carbon because we are not going to get very tough on aviation.

“Surely it’s time that policies like Stansted expansion and Heathrow expansion came to the top of the Government’s agenda, then we might stand a better chance.”

Ms Ruddock said emissions from aviation will be included in the budgets by 2012 or an explanation will be laid before Parliament explaining why not.

John Gummer, Tory former environment secretary, welcomed the addition of shipping and aviation in the Bill but said they should be backed up with other action.

He told Ms Ruddock: “If you had come to this House to announce that there would be no third runway at Heathrow, that the ridiculous proposal to expand Stansted would in fact not go ahead, then the House would have seen that the Government was doing those things that it could do in advance of having achieved the international arrangements which are necessary.”

Andy Atkins of Friends of the Earth, welcomed the changes to the Bill.

“Developing a low carbon economy here in the UK is the only way to deliver on the law, move Britain out of recession and into a greener more prosperous future.”

By Louise Gray

Sourced From The Telegraph

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