Three laws aimed at fighting climate change come into force in Britain today.
by JOEL TAYLOR
The legislation provides the world’s first legally binding targets for a country to reduce carbon emissions.
Its aim is to cut 1990 greenhouse gas levels by 80 per cent in 2050.
Environmentalists welcomed the ‘historic’ laws but called on the government to go further by developing a low-carbon economy.
They were also concerned that one of the statutes – the Planning Act – would make it easier for large projects, such as new airports, to be given the go-ahead.
Ed Miliband, the energy and climate change secretary, said the new legislation ‘will be instrumental in reducing carbon emissions and removing barriers to enable industry to invest in important new infrastructure’.
It would also give people an incentive ‘to use energy more efficiently and generate their own heat and energy’, he added.
Friends of the Earth said the government should now set up a low-carbon economy by investing in green energy and lowering energy waste.
‘It will create exciting business opportunities, thousands of jobs and help lead Britain out of recession,’ said executive director Andy Atkins.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England was concerned about decision-making powers being given to the ‘unaccountable and unelected’ Independent Planning Commission.