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Opik backs calls for step change in UK climate change response

October 12, 2009 11:48 AM

Montgomeryshire's Welsh Liberal Democrat MP Lembit Öpik has today backed calls for a 'step change' in the speed of emissions reductions in the UK. The Committee on Climate Change, an independent body which has been charged with examining the Government's work on reducing emissions and fulfilling Carbon Budgets, has said that, at the current rate of reduction, the Government will fail to meet the emissions targets set out in its own Climate Change Act.

In its first progress report to Parliament, the Committee found that between 2003 and 2007 the UK cut its carbon emissions by around 0.5% per year. However, to meet the Government's intended Carbon Budget the UK needs a reduction of at least 2-3% a year. Committee Chairman Lord Adair Turner said that the Government needed to move away from relying on market forces to cut emissions and put in place a comprehensive delivery framework which builds on the existing "Low Carbon transition Plan".

Commenting on the report, Lembit Öpik said:

"The findings of the Committee on Climate Change are yet more evidence that while the Government talks tough on climate change they continue to believe that carbon emissions will somehow magically reduce themselves.

"We need definitive action if we are going to meet our emissions targets, let alone go beyond them.

"The Liberal Democrats want to see a comprehensive programme that will reduce energy consumption and emissions in every sector, from how people heat their homes to sustainable transport.

"These targets are achievable but we will not succeed unless we put in the hard work and make the difficult choices to ensure that the UK does its part in reducing emissions and combating climate change."