11.1.2010   (Friends of the Earth)

A new report by a committee of MPs which urges the Government to strengthen its
policies for tackling climate change and to set tougher emission reduction targets
has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth.

The Environmental Audit Committee called on the Government to cut emissions of
greenhouse gases by 42% cut by 2020 – to enable the UK to play its part in giving
the world a 50:50 chance of not exceeding a global two degree rise in temperature.
It also said it was important to reduce the likelihood of exceeding two degrees
to well below this 50 per cent risk.

Friends of the Earth’s economy campaigner Simon Bullock said;

“The Government’s current climate plans are based on only a 50:50 chance of avoiding
a two degree rise in temperature, a danger level that world leaders say we must

“No-one would accept a toss-of-a-coin chance of their house burning down or of
there being a major terrorist attack – we mustn’t take such huge risks with climate
change either. The Committee is right to demand that the Government sets tougher
targets for tackling climate change.

“Developing a low carbon economy can also bring huge economic advantages too
– slashing energy waste and developing the UK’s huge green energy potential will
create new business opportunities and tens of thousands of new jobs, and help
reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”

The EAC recommendations include:

.        Strengthen existing climate policies – we are only track for our current
34% target because of the recession;

.        Move to a 42% target as soon as these policies are in place;

.        Reducing risks of exceeding two degrees to below 1 in 3

.        Ensure the forthcoming National Policy Statements on new fossil fuel infrastructure
are compatible with carbon budgets;

.        Do not count offset credits from countries with no limits on carbon emissions.


Notes to Editors:

1.       The Government has currently agreed to cut UK emissions by 34 per cent
by 2020. Friends of the Earth says that this target is too low and shouldn’t include
carbon offsetting.

2.       A report by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, published by Friends
of the Earth last year, warned that the 34 per cent target recommended by the
Government’s climate change advisory body was based on ‘dangerously misleading’
assumptions and was too weak to prevent dangerous climate change: