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Friends of the Earth praise local MP for stance on climate

February 26, 2008 11:04 AM
Friends of the Earth

Mark has been praised by Friends of the Earth for his position on tackling climate change

Mr Mark Hunter MP has been praised by Friends of the Earth for backing calls to beef up the Climate Change Bill, currently being debated in Parliament.

Mr Hunter has joined over 200 MPs who have signed a parliamentary petition (Early Day Motion 736) calling for the Bill to include carbon dioxide emissions from international aviation and set a tougher 80 per cent target for cutting carbon dioxide by 2050.

The Climate Change Bill, due to become law by summer, will set binding 5 year targets for cutting carbon dioxide. But there is growing pressure on the Government to strengthen the proposals. Campaigners, scientists, an influential UN report and now MPs are warning that the Bill must be tougher if it is to successfully tackle climate change. Top of the list of improvements needed are toughening up the overall target to an 80 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2050, adding annual milestones to make sure emissions are on track every year, and making sure emissions from international flights are included in the Bill.

As currently drafted, the Bill requires a 60 per cent cut in carbon emissions by 2050, a figure it is widely accepted is based on out of date science. The Bill also excludes international aviation emissions - a fast growing source of climate changing gases - which could seriously undermine the new climate law.

Tony Juniper, Friends of the Earth director:

"We are delighted that Mark Hunter MP is supporting calls for a tougher Climate Change Bill. The Bill needs targets that are in line with the latest science, and it must count all of our carbon emissions, not just some bits. Aviation has to be treated like every other industry and its emissions must be in the new legislation from the start. It is ludicrous for one industry to be ignored and held apart. Having a climate law that doesn't include our share of international aviation emissions is like having a drink driving law that ignores the effects of whisky."

Mr Mark Hunter MP said:

"My own constituents have told me they're worried about climate change and the I am pleased that the Government is taking some action by introducing the Climate Change Bill in the House of Parliament.

However, we must ensure the Bill reflects the latest science and listens to the advice of the UN to include carbon emissions from all sectors. The Bill must include a commitment to reduce our emissions by at least 80% with the real aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2050, include international aviation and shipping to show strong international leadership, and adding annual milestones to make sure emissions are on track every year to ensure that real action is taken now on this important issue. Only by establishing these changes can we give the people of Cheadle and people across the world the chance of a sustainable future."