The UK Government is committed to addressing both the causes and consequences of climate change and has therefore committed to introducing a Climate Change Bill.

The draft Bill was published on 13 March 2007 for pre-legislative scrutiny and public consultation. On 29 October 2007 the Government published its response to the parliamentary scrutiny and public consultation in the Command Paper Taking Forward the UK Climate Change Bill.

The Command Paper sets out how the Climate Change Bill will be strengthened and made more transparent. The Bill will create a new approach to managing and responding to climate change in the UK through: setting ambitious targets, taking powers to help achieve them, strengthening the institutional framework, enhancing the UK’s ability to adapt to the impact of climate change and establishing clear and regular accountability to the UK, Parliament and devolved legislatures.

Key provisions of the Bill Targets This Bill puts into statute the UK's targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through domestic and international action by at least 60 per cent by 2050 and 26-32 per cent by 2020, against a 1990 baseline. This target will be reviewed, based on a report from the new independent Committee on Climate Change on whether it should be even stronger still, and the implications of including other greenhouse gases and emissions from international aviation and shipping, in the target.

Five-year carbon budgets, which will set binding limits on carbon dioxide emissions ensuring every year’s emissions count. Three successive carbon budgets (representing 15 years) will always be in law – providing the best balance between predictability and flexibility. These budgets will be backed by strong annual accountability and independent scrutiny. Emission reductions purchased overseas may be counted towards the UK’s targets, consistent with the UK’s international obligations. This ensures emission reductions can be achieved in the most cost effective way, recognising the potential for investing in low carbon technologies abroad as well as action within the UK to reduce the UK’s overall carbon footprint.


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