CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES
Climate change policies
Internationally governments are working together to agree actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The current framework for action is known as the Kyoto Protocol. The UK is likely to surpass its commitments under the Protocol for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions but nationally carbon dioxide emissions have started to rise again.
The UK Government is now committed to far higher reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. The Climate Change Act 2008 sets legally binding targets for reducing carbon emissions by at least 34% by 2020, and at least 80% by 2050 (using a 1990 baseline).
The Act also gives a framework for action on adapting to climate change.
These targets are very challenging and can only be achieved by actions across society. However, there will also be some opportunities from climate change, such as saving money by using less fuel, and opportunities for business by changing to a low carbon economy.
Why the focus on carbon dioxide (or carbon)?
The large volume of carbon dioxide and the rises in levels of this gas are the two main reasons why actions on climate change focus on reductions in carbon dioxide. It can help to “see” what a certain amount of carbon dioxide looks like.