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Climate bill becomes law in the UK

27 Nov 2008

A groundbreaking piece of legislation that will radically cut UK greenhouse gas emissions became law last night in London.

Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) led the campaign for a climate change law, which will oblige the UK to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. The new legislation is the first of its kind anywhere in the world - and should put Britain at the forefront of international efforts to tackle climate change.

Friends of the Earth's executive director in the UK, Andy Atkins said:

"The Climate Change Bill is a world class piece of legislation that should make the UK an international leader in tackling climate change.

"This new law is a tremendous success for Friends of the Earth which led the Big Ask campaign for a climate change law - and for the many thousands of people and organisations across the UK that joined the campaign. This shows that people really can make a political difference.

"Ministers must now rapidly develop a low-carbon economy - investing in green energy and cutting energy waste will also create exciting new business opportunities, many thousands of jobs and help lead Britain out of recession.

The Committee on Climate Change is due to publish its recommendation for the first three climate change 'budgets' - each lasting five years - on 1 December.

These are interim targets to ensure that the 2050 target is kept on track.

Ireland's legal position on climate change is poor in comparision. A Climate Protection Bill was introduced in the senate last year, by Independant Senator Ivana Bacik, but has not been given government time since then. Friends of the Earth in Ireland is campaigning for a strong Irish Law on climate change. We believe that legislation is the only way to ensure a whole government approach to tackling this pressing global crisis.

Read more about our campaign here.

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