Friday, 17 October 2008

New UK Emissions Targets

The newly created Department of Energy and Climate Change has come out fighting with a pledge to cut UK carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 (based on 1990) levels, which is an increase on the previous 60% target. (The old target also had an interim aim of 26%-32% reduction by 2020, but I've seen no reference to this in the new pronouncements).

The 80% figure is a more realistic requirement to prevent dramatic climate change and the UK is now leading the world in terms of national targets and forthcoming legislation.

Whilst I commend the move, I am also concerned that the government is doing a lot of talking about the issue, but with very little action. Everything seems to be waiting on the Climate Change Bill, currently going through Parliament.

The public sector needs to be setting a clear and visible example by pro-actively reducing its emissions, which is certainly not the case now. I made the point in a previous blog back in June - it took the government more than nine months to come up with a fairly simplistic set of guidelines to reduce its IT emissions.

And legislation needs to be 'joined up'. The recent closure of post offices around the country put a lot of fossil fuel-burning cars on the roads and also undermines calls for personal carbon allowances - if government policy can have such an impact then personal actions become pointless.

© The Green IT Review

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