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Climate change: Laws survive reduction in 'red tape' despite chancellor's pleas

UK climate-change law, which is some of the most advanced and expensive in the world, will remain on the statute book. This is despite pleas from Chancellor George Osborne for a reduction in costly bureaucracy.

The Government has been conducting a review of the Climate Change Act 2008 and other environmental laws.

The Act underpins most of the Government's policies on reducing carbon emissions to meet internationally agreed targets. At present the aim is to cut carbon emissions as a country by 80% by 2050.

Ed Davey the Energy Secretary, announced yesterday that he will not scrap or dilute the provisions of the Act, which is responsible for higher taxes on polluting road cars and the expansion of wind farms. The Act costs the Government around £18bn per annum, or £650 per household, to implement.

Last year, the Cabinet Office set government departments a 'Red Tape Challenge' to remove costly bureaucracy. The challenge included taking suggestions from members of the public.

The Chancellor is known to be concerned that the UK economy is buckling under the weight of green policies adopted here and in Europe.

"I am worried about the combined impact of the green policies adopted not just in Britain, but also by the European Union," he has said previously, adding that "endless social and environmental goals (mean) businesses will fail, jobs will be lost, and our country will be poorer."

The move not to scrap the Act will be met with scepticism and disappointment by a considerable lobby of opponents who have been calling for the Act to be scrapped altogether.

Opponents include Lord Lawson, the former chancellor under Margaret Thatcher, and Lord Turnbull, who headed the Civil Service under Tony Blair.

Lord Turnbull said yesterday that the Act "imposes legal duties, regardless of whatever else other countries do, or do not do".

Related links:

Read more on the story (The Telegraph)

Carbon offsetting (FindLaw)