UK. David Miliband welcomes EU \'s response to climate change

Thursday, 30 November 2006

Environment Secretary David Miliband has welcomed the European Commission's decision on the next phase of the emissions trading scheme and the EU's response to climate change.  Mr Miliband said: "Today's decision by the European Commission represents good news for the environment and good news for Europe. Emissions trading is a key tool in the UK and across the EU to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change. The EU has a responsibility to ensure scarcity in the carbon market and a sustainable price of carbon. Today's decision shows a clear determination to achieve this. 

 "Business requires a robust and transparent process for decision making to give it the confidence it needs to make low-carbon investment decisions. Deciding on long term and challenging emissions reduction targets - as shown by our intention to legislate on this matter through the Climate Change Bill – will help build confidence in the private sector. The Commission's leadership, as shown today, provides the necessary clarity on Phase II of the Scheme.  "As the recent Stern review made clear, the later we take action on climate change, the more costly it will be. The EU emissions trading scheme has the potential to be at the heart of the international carbon market.

The EU must continue to show international leadership and live up to its responsibilities if we are to avoid the dangerous consequences of climate change and move towards the international agreement on reducing emissions that is so vital.  "By adopting a serious approach to the EU's emissions trading scheme we are reducing our own impacts on the climate - but it also helps us demonstrate to other countries around the world Europe's wider commitment to tackling climate change. 2007 is a vital year where we must inject greater urgency and momentum into international climate change negotiations."  

Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling said: "The Stern Review said you can have economic growth and at the same time tackle climate change. Taking action now on climate change makes economic sense and the EU ETS can deliver emissions reductions at low cost, minimising the economic impact.  "This is a good decision. It sends the signal that Europe is serious about tackling climate change, and gives the clear messages that business needs in making its investment decisions."  

The UK Government announced in June that the second phase of the ETS would deliver additional savings of 8 million tonnes of carbon each year, roughly equivalent to the emissions of 4 1/2 million households.  Emissions trading sets a cap on carbon dioxide emissions from European industries. Under the scheme, installations that emit less carbon dioxide than their allocation are able to sell allowances on the newly established carbon market to installations which need to buy allowances to cover extra emissions. Putting a price on carbon creates an incentive for industry to invest in low carbon technology.  Urgent action is needed now to stabilise the emissions of carbon dioxide. The K is at the forefront of tackling climate change, both internationally and at home. The UK is projected to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by 23-25% y 2010 - nearly double the target set by the Kyoto treaty.  The European Commission today approved the UK's national allocation plan, subject to the submission of Gibraltar's plan. We expect to be able to submit Gibraltar's NAP shortly, as some of their figures had not been finalised at he time of the submission of the UK NAP.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 30 November 2006 )