U.K. Utilities Join Greens to Urge Gov't Action on Climate Change

U.K. Utilities Join Greens to Urge Gov't Action on Climate Change

The British government is facing pressure from a coalition of energy companies and environmental groups demanding action on climate change. The U.K. Business Council for Sustainable Energy and eight energy companies, including United Utilities and British Gas, have joined Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace to demand the government puts its words into action.

The call came in a joint letter to the Secretaries of State for the Environment, Transport, and Trade and Industry. The letter, copied to the Prime Minister, John Prescott and Gordon Brown, urges the government to take advantage of the current review of the U.K. Climate Change Program to embrace the "bold and practical policy framework" required "in order to move to a low-carbon future."

The letter is accompanied by a list of priority areas for action, including:
  • Tax measures to encourage moves towards greater energy efficiency;

  • An effective cap and trade scheme to encourage industry to reduce emissions;

  • Tougher regulations for the built environment; and

  • Support for a more localised energy generation -- to encourage local and micro generation schemes.
"The government must take the lead in achieving a low carbon economy. That is the common message now coming from scientists, green groups, and even big power companies," said Friends of the Earth executive director Tony Juniper.

Greenpeace policy director Simon Reddy said: "The power sector produces one third of the U.K.'s carbon emissions and even they are calling on Tony Blair to take real action, said Greenpeace policy director Simon Reddy. "We're in a climate crisis, even the utilities see that now, and we need the Prime Minister to get moving on the steps we've outlined today."