The Government's Climate Change Bill was today outlined in the Queen's Speech. The bill will form a fundamental part of the UK 's strategy to tackle climate change and address the issues raised by the Stern Review.

The Stern Review set out the economic case for action on climate change, and concluded that the cost of inaction will be far higher than tackling climate change now. The climate change legislation aims to put in place a credible long term goal and framework for emissions reductions to provide a firm basis on which business could plan ahead.

It will comprise four key elements: Put the Government's long term goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60% by 2050 into statute. How the target is defined and set, and how progress is measured and reported, are fundamental issues that are still being considered. Also under consideration are appropriate interim targets. Establish an independent body – the Carbon Committee – to work with Government to reduce emissions over time and across the economy.

Its advice will be open, transparent, equitable and mindful of sectoral and competitiveness impacts, including the need to secure energy supplies at competitive prices. Create enabling powers to put in place new emissions reduction measures needed to achieve our goals. Improve monitoring and reporting arrangements, including how the Government reports to Parliament.

Speaking today Mr Miliband said: "Climate change is an issue of critical importance and urgent action is needed both at home and internationally to tackle it. By putting in legislation a long term goal and setting out a framework for achieving this, we are providing business with certainty over this Government and future Government's intentions and re-affirming the UK's commitment to taking action to meet our climate change goals."


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