Friends of the Earth, which has led demands for new UK legislation on climate change, welcomed the proposed climate change bill as ‘a crucial first step’, while arguing that it should legislate for a 3 per cent annual cut in CO2 emissions. With UK carbon emissions still rising, according to the most recent government figures, this issue of legally binding targets is likely to be central to the debate on the bill.
The environment minister, David Miliband, has already dismissed such targets as a ‘silly’ idea, but he is rowing against the tide. The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives support them, while Stop Climate Chaos, the largest UK-based coalition of climate change campaigners, is calling for an annual ‘carbon budget’ to ensure that such targets are reached. The Green Party, which calls for a 6 per cent annual reduction in CO2 emissions, dismissed the new bill as ‘toothless and inadequate’.
With climate change priorities increasingly being set at an EU and global level, however, the focus on domestic targets should not blind us to Britain’s role in the international system. The UK is a leading promoter of emissions trading – introducing a UK-wide emissions trading scheme in 2002, before playing a leading role in the EU emissions trading scheme from 2005, and using the G8 to promote marketbased ‘solutions’ to climate change.
‘As a financial services base, Britain dominates the carbon market globally,’ David Miliband told the UN climate change conference in Nairobi. Mark these words: there is money to be made from these poorly regulated markets that legitimise continued pollution, as Derek Wall points out, and a warm green Westminster consensus belies the UK government’s continued role in helping large corporations to make it.
#226 Get Socialism Done ● Special US section edited by Joe Guinan and Sarah McKinley ● A post-austerity state ● Political theatre ● Racism in football ● A new transatlantic left? ● Britain’s zombie constitution ● Follow the dark money ● Book reviews ● And much more
And you choose how much to pay for your subscription...
The 2017 Labour election manifesto was good but the 2019 version is the document we’ve really been waiting for, argues Mike Phipps
Asad Rehman talks to Ashish Ghadiali about why, across the political spectrum, Zero Carbon 2030 must become the rallying cry in GE2019.
2019 has seen climate consciousness reshape the political conversation around the world, but for this new awareness to make a difference, we need to get real about targets and timescale, write Souparna Lahiri, Niclas Hällström and Rachel Rose Jackson.
As the XR International Rebellion continues, Katie Sandwell reports on the recent Free the Soil Action Camp which strengthened ties between food sovereignty and climate justice movements
Extinction Rebellion must recognise the impacts of colonialism and capitalism, and demand a just transition for all, argues Aranyo Aarjan
Landry Ninteretse and Ian Rivera share perspectives from Kenya and the Philippines and call for universal energy systems that are clean and renewable, public and decentralised