The government announced a new programme to tackle climate change on March 28 2006. This followed a review, launched in September 2004, of the existing Programme.
The November 2000 UK Climate Change Programme focused on policies and measures to meet Kyoto targets and move towards our domestic goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010.
The new Climate Change Programme can be found via the Defra website
What the new programme includes Edit
According to Defra, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the new programme sets out policies and priorities for action in the UK and internationally:
"The measures to reduce emissions target every sector of the economy and include:
- A stricter emissions cap for industry
- Measures to encourage the uptake of biofuels in petrol
- Tighter building regulations
- Measures to improve household energy efficiency
- A renewed emphasis on encouraging and enabling the general public, businesses and public authorities to help achieve the Government's targets and
- Increased levels of microgeneration"
According to Defra: "The Programme is expected to reduce the UK's emissions of greenhouse gases to 23-25 per cent below base year levels and reduce the UK's carbon dioxide emissions to 15-18 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010."
Reaction to the review Edit
Some major pressure groups have expressed diappointment with the review and described the new programme as inadequate.
Specific failings identified include:
- no commitment to a reduction in traffic
- no review of aviation strategy
- not going far enough in realising the potential for energy saving, renewable power and combined heat & power schemes
- Friends of the Earth director, Tony Juniper: "Tough action is needed to tackle climate change. But once again the Government has caved in to short-term political pressures and produced a totally inadequate response. This pathetic strategy will not deliver the Government's promise to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent by 2010, and will further undermine the Prime Minister's reputation on this issue."
- Greenpeace Senior Climate Campaigner Charlie Kronick: "This review is pitiful. CO2 emissions are rising, the target's getting further away and the Government has introduced no new measures to combat this. Failure of government departments to agree a clear plan of action has lead to a review that is nothing more than an abdication of responsibility. At a time when we desperately need bold leadership, yet again Tony Blair fiddles while the world burns."
- Living Streets: "Transport measures are a key part of the programme but the Government is limited in its policies to promote a shift from cars to other forms of transport, and admits that it does not "expect total transport emissions to fall" by the target date of 2010."
- Jason Torrance, Campaigns Director for Transport 2000: "The Government talks tall on climate change but walks short. In this review we see a random collection of small initiatives and an absence of the big blockbuster measures that are so desperately needed. The public are further ahead than the Government thinks on transport issues and they are ready for big, bold measures such as a halt to airport expansion and road building and a real revolution in public transport."
- Paul Hamblin, CPRE's Head of Natural Resources: "Inadequate action in stemming the growth in aviation and complacency over the effects of road building will lead to the lasting legacy of significant, uncontrolled and damaging changes to our countryside."
- The Woodland Trust Head of campaigns, Ed Pomfret: "The Government has quite simply failed to meet its environmental obligations and the result is a shambles. Britain needs to act decisively on climate change, deliver a ‘carbon budget’ immediately and control the big greenhouse gas polluters like aviation."
Some positive reaction Edit
- CPRE welcomes the additional funding given to micro-generation; the commitment to consult on a new Planning Policy Statement on climate change; and strengthening the Code for Sustainable Homes.
- The Woodland Trust: "The Government has taken some small positive steps by agreeing to report annually on its progress to cut greenhouse gas emissions and create benchmark sustainable settlements - but it needs to go much further to make any real difference. We now need clearer determined leadership, ambition and individual responsibility from the very top."
Related transport information from Transport 2000 Edit
- Between 1997 and 2004 the real cost of motoring declined by 7 per cent, bus and coach fares increased by 11 per cent and rail fares increased by 4 per cent. (Alistair Darling 11 Oct 2005)
- Air transport continues to grow, accelerated by Government plans to expand capacity at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted Airports. Expansion will increase emissions and ensure that the Department for Transport’s predicted trebling of air transport by 2030 will be achieved.
- Vehicle engine efficiency is not improving enough due to a failure by European car makers to achieve their voluntary commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from new passenger cars to an average of 140 grammes per kilometre by 2008. The average new car in the UK in 2004 emitted 171.4 grammes per kilometre, with only 15.5 per cent of new cars sold in the UK having a carbon dioxide level of 140 grammes per kilometre or less.
- Insufficient funding of initiatives that seek to alter travel behaviour has cemented car use further. Evidence suggests that with an ambitious change scenario, car travel demand in peak hours could be cut by 26 per cent, the impact in a typical urban area could be 33 per cent and the national impact could be 10 per cent.
- Public transport has continued to decline, exemplified by the rejection of four tram schemes in Leeds, Merseyside, South Hampshire and Manchester.
- Bus services outside London have continued to decline and now one in every three bus journeys takes place in the capital.
- Road building continues with 200 schemes having gained approval in the last five years, with many schemes likely to result in significant traffic growth after completion.
- Defra news relase
- FoE press release
- Living Streets press release
- Transport 2000
- CPRE news release
- Woodland Trust press release