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Friday, November 14, 2008

Ed Milliband responds to Climate Change Badger


I use Superbadger, and if you use Facebook you should too. It's an effective way for internet users to lobby government for justice on international and global issues. I badgered Ed Milliband the new minister on climate change. Here's the response:

Hi

Thanks for emailing me about European action on climate change.

You’re right that some people see the economic trouble and say we should scale back what we do to tackle climate change.

But we know from the Stern report that the longer we wait, the higher the cost. And we know as well there are many ways to help both the economy and the environment, encouraging jobs in green technologies and helping households save energy.

So in European meetings and elsewhere, I’ve been arguing that Europe needs to lead, with tough reductions at home, with all sectors contributing, and with real action.

You said we should reduce our own emissions, and stick by the European target of a 20 per cent cut by 2020, and a 30 per cent cut when there is a global deal. I completely agree. Britain’s weight has been behind Europe keeping our emission commitments.

You wrote about which industries have to buy carbon permits in auctions. I have been arguing that there should be a big increase, including the whole power sector from 2013.

And on offsets, we have to show that a low-carbon economy is possible. I’ve been arguing that at least 50% of the reductions after 2012 must come from within Europe.

But because responsibility abroad is the flip side of action at home, I do believe that some foreign credits are important. They mean more money going to developing countries to help green technologies, on top of the £800 million fund that Britain has set up to support green development. This combination of government funds and money from credits, together with action from developing countries themselves, is needed to keep global emissions down.

So we’ve got lots going on. Last week I increased our legal target for carbon cuts by 2050 (you can read more about it here), and later in the year we will hear from the independent Committee on Climate Change what milestones we should meet on the way. As we manage the transition to a low-carbon economy, and agree an international deal, I’d like to stay in touch. And I’d like to thank you for making contact: a low-carbon economy can’t come about from politicians alone, but from politicians and public pressure – pressure on me, on MEPs and local authorities, and on our public services and businesses. I can’t bring about the changes we need without you.

Best wishes

Ed Miliband

Secretary of State,

Department of Energy and

Climate Change.

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