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UKELA Wants a Climate Change Bill with teeth

Jul 04, 2007

Further information

The UK Environmental Law Association (UKELA) calls for binding legal target to reduce carbon emissions and the teeth to make the target bite in welcoming a government committee report today.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select committee has supported the proposed Climate Change bill which would, for the first time, introduce a legally binding target to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2).

UKELA gave evidence to the EFRA Committee and told members that the challenge for the Bill would be to ensure effective enforcement. Resorting to the courts was unlikely to be the best way of enforcing the limit, but the public and Parliament would be able to scrutinise and keep up the pressure.

UKELA told the EFRA Committee that the proposed Climate Change Committee, which would monitor progress towards achieving the target, needs greater independence and more teeth and give greater weight to scientific advice. It should have the power of veto or the ability to force a motion in Parliament if the means to achieve the target appeared to be failing. The EFRA Committee's report supports this view.

The convenors of UKELA’s Climate Change Working Party, Tom Bainbridge and Michael Woods, said: “The Bill provides a valuable framework but much will depend on the detail of the measures introduced to implement the targets.

“In our view the Bill would be considerably strengthened if the Committee’s role was clarified and moved from what appears to be merely advisory, to a genuinely independent auditing and policing role.”

Notes to the editors:

1. UKELA is the UK charity which aims to make the law work for a better environment and to improve understanding and awareness of environmental law. UKELA’s members are involved in the practice, study or formulation of Environmental Law in the UK and the European Union.

2. The House of Commons' Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has been carrying out an inquiry into the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' consultation on the Climate Change Bill and its report is published today at www.parliament.uk/efracom. UKELA has submitted its views to the inquiry and to the consultation.

3. If you would like further information or an interview, please contact Tom Bainbridge 0207 524 6144 or mobile 07770 825 437 or Michael Woods, mobile 07876681534 .

UK Environmental Law Association - Better law for the environment
Registered charity 299498; company registered in England number 2133283
Registered office: One Glass Wharf, Bristol, BS2 0ZX

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