Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Nations pass climate change laws

The UK supports renewable energy and has a raft of other climate-related legislation in place

Countries are pushing ahead with laws to tackle climate change, despite "snail-paced" progress on a global deal to cut emissions, it has been revealed.

Almost all of the 33 developed and developing countries surveyed in a new study had introduced or progressed with significant climate-related legislation within their own borders in the last year.

In 2012, 18 of the countries made significant progress, according to the report by the Grantham Research Institute at LSE and Globe International, which brings together legislators from different countries. Only Canada had gone backwards on climate change, by repealing the Act which implemented its targets under the Kyoto Protocol treaty to cut global emissions.

Despite a tough economic year for many countries, such as those in the Eurozone, some progress was made by developed nations.

While the UK had not made substantial progress in 2012, it has a raft of climate-related legislation in place, including the flagship 2008 Climate Change Act, and measures on energy efficiency, supporting renewables and sustainable homes.

The report found the EU as a whole made progress through its new directive on energy efficiency, while the US pushed forward with regulating carbon dioxide through its Clean Air Act.

Action by developing countries was more significant, with Mexico leading the way with a new climate law to cut emissions by 30% compared to "business as usual" by 2020, and major progress by countries ranging from Kenya to Pakistan.

China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has begun to draft its national climate change law, while local legislation - the first of its kind in the country - was passed in Shenzhen to manage greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, now in its third year, was expanded to cover 33 countries, including 17 of the 20 top polluters, which account for 85% of the world's emissions.

Globe International is holding a summit this week, bringing together legislators from around the world, to kick-start efforts to push forward climate legislation between now and 2015, when it is hoped a new global climate treaty will be agreed.

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