Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Change is in the air

After hearing Arnie talk about climate change and then Obama talk about the change in thinking on climate change in the United States, I then found this story about British lawmakers passing a landmark climate change bill.

British lawmakers pass landmark climate change bill

LONDON (AFP) — Lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to a bill committing Britain to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 -- the first country to have such a legally binding framework on climate change.

Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said the bill, which must now be signed into law by the queen, "makes Britain a world leader on climate policy".

"It's the first legislation of its kind in the world. It will tie this and future governments into legally binding emission targets -- an 80 percent cut by 2050, with five-year carbon budgets along the way," he said.

"It sends a clear message before European and global climate talks that serious action is possible."

Britain originally intended to cut emissions by 60 percent on 1990 levels by 2050, but changed this to 80 percent last month on the recommendation of a government-appointed committee.

The committee said the cuts would cost about one to two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and were "challenging but feasible".

The legislation also contains powers to establish emissions trading schemes, measures on biofuels, powers to reduce household waste and to require retailers to reduce the use of plastic bags.

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