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Climate Change

Volume 688: debated on Tuesday 23 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What new steps they will take in 2007 to support the various stages of the European Union environment and climate change measures agreed by the European Council of Ministers. [HL1189]

The Government will be taking an active role in pushing forward the environmental and climate change measures agreed at the December 2006 European Council and further strengthening the strong link between the EU climate change policy and energy policy.

We are working closely with Germany, which is intending to use its presidency of the EU and G8 to develop “expanding circles” of consensus through 2007 in the run-up to Conference of Parties 13 in Bali.

The UK will be taking an active role in the follow-up work on the Nairobi decisions, including how to breathe fresh air into the convention dialogue, ideally through the tabling of concrete proposals about future action. We will be looking to accelerate negotiations on future action by demonstrating clear EU leadership through securing an agreement on tough greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals for the EU and using the EU and G8 fora to seek high-level agreement on the elements that should form the basis of a future framework.

We announced a new Climate Change Bill, which will put into statute the Government's long-term goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 and set out a framework for achieving this. This will also strengthen our ability to be global leaders in a future international framework for climate change.

The Government support the Commission on its review of the EU emissions trading directive and in exploring the potential for linking the EU ETS with similar schemes, including non-Kyoto schemes.

Although unilateral linking is currently possible, mutual recognition of such schemes would require an amendment to the directive. This is being considered as one of the UK's priorities for the Commission's review of the emissions trading directive. The Government support the inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS and will be working with the Commission and other member states during negotiation of the directive on inclusion of aviation in the EU ETS.