14 March 2007 – The UK has become the first country to propose legislation setting binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions as it stepped up its campaign for a new global warming pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol.
In its draft Climate Change Bill, the government said carbon dioxide emissions had to be cut by at least 60 per cent by 2050, set out five-year carbon budgets to reach the target and created an independent monitoring committee to check annual progress.
“This bill is an international landmark,” Environment Minister David Miliband told a news conference. “It is the first time any country has set itself legally binding carbon targets. It is an environmental contract for future generations.”
The draft bill also sets a legally binding interim target for carbon cuts of 26 to 32 percent by 2020. Miliband said failure to meet targets could land governments in court. “Governments that fail to meet the stipulations of the bill will be subject to judicial review. It will be for the courts to decide what sanctions to apply,” he said.