The Climate Change Bill is currently out for “consultation” http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/latest.htm
The Bill proposes binding legal commitments to reduce the UK’s contribution to
carbon dioxide emissions, through domestic and international action, by 60%
below 1990 levels by 2050, and by between 26 and 32% by 2020.
Why against 1990 levels of CO2? DEFR has this data up to 2004, could it be that the 1990 figures are much higher that the last recorded data so in “real terms” the proposed percentage reductions are in fact much less than they would be if taken against recently recorded data of CO2 emissions. In 1990 the total CO2 emissions were 161 million tonnes but in 2004 they were 151 million tonnes.
The Kyoto Protocol allows signatories the flexibility to choose either 1990 or 1995 as the base year, but by choosing to use 1990 as the base line for measuring reductions means that these targets will be easier to meet - nice one!!
Of course the Bill does not include aviation. Forecasts have suggested that by 2030 aviation could contribute up to about a quarter of the UK's total contribution to global warming. http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/trading/eu/future/aviation/index.htm
Nor does the Bill include methane emissions.
Methane is the second most important greenhouse gas in the UK after carbon dioxide. In 2005 methane accounted for about 8 per cent of the UK's greenhouse gas emissions. In 2005, the main sources of methane were landfill sites (40 per cent of the total) and agriculture (37 per cent).
Livestock and meat production contribute in a massive way to greenhouse gas emissions, so if you want to make a difference best go vegan. Our mass production of animals is having a huge impact on the environment on many levels, from deforestation (grazing land accounts for 26% percent of the ice-free terrestrial surface of the planet), to greenhouse gases (not just 18% of CO2 emissions, but 37% of methane emissions which has 23 times the global warming potential of CO2), and even water consumption (accounting for 8% of all global human water usage). Scroogle “Livestock’s Long Shadow” to find out more.
So all in all then the Climate Change Bill is total greenwash and will simply result in a belief that the problems of climate chaos are solved and we can go on shopping in huge supermarkets who fly over packaged food around the world and transport it miles in gas guzzling trucks from distribution centres across the country. The solution is small-scale low impact autonomous communities who manage their own needs in the community. In such communities we will be able to make our own decisions about what food we grow, how much energy we need to produce and how best to produce it. Free from State and corporate control we can just do it – we know what to do and we can do it for ourselves.