Government must show a different quality of leadership to deliver climate change emissions targets. June 2005 Edit
The Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) is urging the Government to meet domestic emissions targets to encourage international action on climate change. The SDC's report calls for urgent action in the UK to make up an annual shortfall of at least ten million tonnes in carbon reductions, through radical new charges on vehicles and aviation, greater household energy efficiency and a carbon neutral public sector.
The report - a summary of a full submission into the Government's Climate Change Programme Review, expected to report later this year - proposes a range of measures designed to save at least ten million tonnes of C, which is needed to meet the Government's target of a 20 per cent reduction in emissions by 2010.
The SDC Chairman Jonathon Porritt said: "With so much attention focused on the G8 Summit in July, and on the role of the United States in particular, it would be all too easy for the Government to neglect what's going on in its own backyard. The UK has a massive gap to fill if we are to get back on track in meeting our 2010 target of a 20 per cent cut in CO2 emissions - and the signs at the moment do not look good. This is the real test of the UK Government's leadership in this area, whatever may or may not emerge from the G8 Summit". SDC Press Release
Together we can secure the future launched, June 28 2005 Edit
Elliot Morley, Minister for Environment and Climate Change today joined other Ministers from across Government to launch a series of measures to boost community action which secures a better, more sustainable future for all.
The Minister launched "Together we can secure the future" (1), as part of a Government action plan which is intended to give communities a bigger say and a bigger role in tackling issues such as climate change and energy efficiency to reducing food-miles, recycling more and creating greener parks and spaces.
Elliot Morley said "Communities have a vital role to play in securing a more sustainable future for all. There are many different ways in which any type of community group can join in the effort and make a big difference through small, practical actions. Hundreds of community groups across the country are already showing the way by saving energy, promoting local food, supporting fair-trade, recycling or getting involved in local plans which shape the future of their areas." Defra press release, Delivering sustainable development at community level (part of the government's main Sustainable Development website)
Rooftop generation, June 23 2005 Edit
Many UK households could one day be self-sufficient in energy needs and routinely make money by selling surplus electricity from home generators such as solar panels and micro-wind turbines. This is among the possibilities raised by Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks as the Department of Trade and Industry asks for views on the development of "micro-generation" of low-carbon energy by homes, businesses and public buildings. A full copy of the consultation document (pdf) can be found on the DTI website DTI Press Release
73% Say Government Not Doing Enough on Climate Change, May 25 2005 Edit
The UK is failing to meet its climate change targets and The Big Ask campaign, launched by Friends of the Earth, challenges the Government to bring in a new climate change law. The law would force the Government to take responsibility for the UK's contribution to global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by three per cent every year.
This would mean the UK was genuinely leading the world on climate change. It would provide far greater certainty for the environment and for the industries that need to change to tackle climate change. Avoiding action in the short term will only lead to more expensive and drastic action having to be taken in the future. The public can back the campaign by logging onto www.thebigask.com
Friends of the Earth
'Natural England, May 17 2005 Edit
A new, large and powerful body is to be created by the The Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill. Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: "Its mission will be to make our landscape the very best that it can be, allowing our green spaces to fulfill their potential and ensuring the delicate balance of wildlife is maintained. It will transform the way in which we deliver rural and environmental services." Defra news release
Government must face difficult energy issues in this parliament, May 16 2005 Edit
The Royal Society today urged the Government to address, in the next parliamentary session, the difficult issue of how the UK can achieve an adequate supply of affordable energy while cutting emissions of carbon dioxide and warned that its current climate change policies are not working well enough.
The failure of Governments climate policies are highlighted by the fact that in 2002 2003 the UKs emissions of carbon dioxide actually increased by over two per cent. The Government has already admitted that under current policies it will not meet its original target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent below 1990 levels, by 2010. Instead it has predicted that the UK will make a 14 per cent cut requiring a seven per cent reduction in emissions in the next five years in addition to the seven per cent already achieved in the last 15 years.
The Society has recommended that the Government should, in its revised climate change programme, introduce a carbon tax which would put a cost on all emissions of carbon dioxide from all sectors including industrial, domestic and transport. This would encourage the development of cleaner technologies and a move away from carbon based fuels in the overall energy supply as well as promoting energy efficiency measures. A report by the Royal Society has shown that the impact of a carbon tax on the long-term global GDP would be negligible. Royal Society news story
Nuclear waste leaks at Sellafield facility on Cumbrian coast, England, May 9 2005 Edit
Simultaneous Policy Achieves Cross-party Representation in UK Parliament, May 6 2005 Edit
The Simultaneous Policy (SP) campaign, aimed at addressing global problems such as climate change, unfair trade and unsustainability, achieved cross-party support in Parliament following yesterday's general election. Of the many candidates across 33 constituencies who signed a pledge to implement SP alongside other governments, 10 have been elected. These are from Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru parties. Green Party, Party of Cornwall and UK Independence Party candidates also signed the SP pledge (see www.simpol.org.uk for full list).
London Sustainabilty Weeks 2005 - June 5 - 19 - The biggest celebration yet! May 3 2005 Edit
Over 300 events are already confirmed in 30 London Boroughs to celebrate a cleaner, greener and healthier London. To get the celebrations going there are not one but two big launch events on June 5 (World Environment Day) - 'The London Green Lifestyle Festival’ in Greenwich Park, funded by the GLA, and Camden Green Fair (and ‘Bike fest’), which this year is in Regents Park (and expecting up to 10,000 people). www.lsw2005.org
see also Diary UK