Government must now strengthen climate bill says Friends of the Earth
Robin Hood helps leaders of England’s eight biggest cities and Youth Parliament members aim for annual cuts in their cities’ climate change emissions at an event run by Friends of the Earth England, Oxfam, Christian Aid, CAFOD and the World Development Movement.
A commitment by leaders of England’s eight biggest cities (outside London) to “show leadership in tackling climate change” has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth. The environmental campaign group has called on the Government to complement this by improving its weak climate change bill Friends of the Earth England today welcomed .
Paul de Zylva, Head of Friends of the Earth England said:
“The best city leaders now realise that the success of their city depends on them becoming low carbon economies. That means creating economic, housing and transport opportunities without contributing to climate chaos. The Government must now strengthen its proposed climate law to help England’s cities make this shift and turn today’s welcome pledge into more than just warm words.”
The Government’s proposed climate change law needs improving if it is to deliver the cuts in emissions which the world’s leading climate scientists say are needed to tackle climate change and protect our economy. A strong law should commit the UK to cutting its carbon dioxide emissions by at least three per cent every year (equivalent to 80 per cent cuts by 2050) and include Britain’s share of emissions from international aviation and shipping from the outset.
Friends of the Earth has led the campaign for a strong climate change law through The Big Ask (www.thebigask.com). A growing coalition of MPs and organisations has joined the call for a strong law. A brief history of the campaign for a Climate Change Bill is available .
 The declaration, ‘A Prosperous and Sustainable Future’, by the leaders of England’s eight ‘Core Cities’ - Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester – has been signed at the end of the two day Core Cities conference on the future of England’s cities (Nottingham, 7-8 November). The declaration includes commitments to:
• “Achieve or exceed targets for reducing CO2 emissions…in line with the new Climate Change Bill….We will collaborate on future target setting…” (paragraph 1.1)
• “Show leadership by…engaging public sector agencies, Non Governmental Organisation, employers and communities in making specific carbon reduction commitments.” (paragraph 1.2)
• “Build on the Stern review…to develop economic impact models to inform future decisions…” (paragraph 2.1)
• “Work with government to consider climate change implications in working to reduce regional economic disparity.” (paragraph 2.2)
• “Use available planning, licensing and transport powers to reduce fossil fuel use by improving public transport, reducing the need to travel, tackling congestion and providing alternatives to private car usage.” (paragraph 2.4)
 The History of the Campaign for a Climate Change Bill is available at: www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefing_notes/history_of_the_big_ask.pdf (PDF†)
The Big Ask, Friends of the Earth’s climate campaign: www.thebigask.com