Britain Outlines Plans to Cut Carbon Emissions by Third

Britain presented the world's first ever carbon budget, which commits to cut carbon emission by 34% by 2020.

British finance minister Alistair Darling on April 22 outlined the government's plans to cut carbon emissions by more than a third by 2020, in what he said was the world's first "carbon budget."

"Today, I am presenting the world's first ever carbon budget, which commits Britain to cut carbon emission by 34% by 2020," Darling told parliament in his annual statement on taxation and public spending.

Darling said his government has committed more than one billion pounds (US$1.4 billion) to combatting climate change, from incentives for energy savings to funding for offshore wind farms.

Last year, Britain enacted legislation committing the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, making it the first country with a legally binding framework on climate change.

Darling said the new "carbon budgets" plan would "give industry the certainty needed to develop and use low carbon technology -- cutting emissions, creating new businesses and jobs." He added: "They are a landmark step, which point the way to the vital decisions which must be made at the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit later this year."

More than 190 nations have set themselves an end-of-year deadline to hammer out a new climate treaty, to take effect from the end of 2012 when provisions of the Kyoto Protocol run out, at a summit in Copenhagen in December.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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