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UK Climate law now likely to include aviation and shipping

24 Oct 2008

The Guardian

By Patrick Wintour

Ed Miliband, the climate change secretary, is close to reaching an agreement on toughening his legally binding climate change targets by promising to take into account emissions from shipping and aviation. He is also expected to include a commitment that by 2012 businesses will be required to report annually on their carbon emissions. Business is responsible for 30% of total emissions.

Miliband was praised by environmentalists last week when he increased the UK legal target to cut the greenhouse gas emissions target from 60% to 80% by 2050. Miliband said he was responding to evidence that the science showed the risk of climate change was growing, and said Britain would make an 80% cut to the headline target in its climate change legislation.

But he faced widespread criticism over plans to exclude aviation and shipping from his legally binding targets -- blowing a massive hole in the 80% target, according to green campaigners, who argued that the omission of aviation would mean there was no serious business incentive to bring on a new generation of efficient aviation engines.

Sixty five Labour MPs, with the support of Friends of the Earth and led by the former business minister Nigel Griffiths, immediately tabled an amendment to the climate change bill, due to be debated next Tuesday, demanding that ministers take aviation into account when setting the UK's carbon budgets.

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