What Government is doing

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The ACT ON CO2 site during the general election

7 April 2010

The general election (to take place on 6 May) means there are now restrictions on Government Departments and how they communicate with the public.

The ACT ON CO2 site is, as of Thursday 8 April, up-to-date. Only factual updates and corrections will be made to content until the election period is over. During this time the ‘Contact Us’ form can only be used to report technical faults, as no correspondence will be answered.

Low carbon rewards launch today

1 April 2010

The introduction today of two carbon cutting Government incentive schemes will see homes and businesses playing a key role in contributing to UK emissions reductions of at least 34% on 1990 levels by 2020 through improved energy efficiency and small-scale low-carbon electricity.

The Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC EES) for organisations and Feed in tariffs (FITs) will help to save money on fuel bills, reduce carbon emissions and generate their own low-carbon electricity.

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband, said:

“From today the rewards for businesses and householders who act to cut their carbon emissions really start to pay off. It’s no longer simply about doing the right thing for the environment, it’s now a sure-fire financial investment.

“The UK is leading the way in tackling climate change. Organisations and householders can play a central role in leading the move to a low carbon economy whilst saving money on their energy bills.”

Boiler Scrappage Scheme meets its 125,000 aim

26 March 2010

The Boiler Scrappage Scheme has been very successful and all vouchers available under the scheme have now been allocated. No further funding will be made available to the scheme and therefore it has now been closed to new applications.

Carbon budget report

24 March 2010

The UK is on track to meet its first carbon budget said Energy and Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock, as the first ever annual emissions report under the carbon budgets system was presented to Parliament.

Under the Climate Change Act, the UK has to report annually to Parliament on progress in meeting its carbon budgets. The UK has to cut its emissions by at least 34% by 2020, and by at least 80% by 2050, below 1990 levels.

Offshore Wind Accelerator

24 March 2010

The offshore wind supply chain got a double boost as David Kidney, Minister for Energy and Climate Change, announced a major extension of the  programme worth up to £4.8m, and opened the UK’s first training tower for offshore wind.

The Offshore Wind Accelerator is a unique research and development collaboration between the Carbon Trust and leading offshore wind developers that focuses on developing innovative technologies that have real potential to cut the cost of future wind farm developments.

Earth Hour

24 March 2010

Earth Hour 2010 takes place on Saturday 27 March at 8.30pm (local time) and is a global call to action to every individual, every business and every community throughout the world. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future.

Iconic buildings and landmarks from Europe to Asia to the Americas will stand in darkness. People across the world from all walks of life will turn off their lights and join together in celebration and contemplation of the one thing we all have in common – our planet.

Greener Homes Strategy to cut CO2

19 March 2010

A green transformation of Britain’s homes will take place over the next decade – making them more comfortable, warmer and cheaper to run – under new plans set out by the Government.

With around one quarter of UK emissions coming from energy used in homes the ‘Warm Homes, Greener Homes Strategy’ is aimed at cutting emissions from the UK’s homes by 29% by 2020.

The new strategy will offer ‘green energy makeovers’ to help people make smarter use of energy, making it easier to take action and reduce bills. Installing some technologies, such as solid wall insulation, could see energy bills cut by £380 a year (average between 2013 and 2020).

Carbon Capture

17 March 2010

Industrial growth, energy security and action on climate change are the three prizes… to be had in backing Carbon Capture and Storage technology, Ed Miliband said.

Marine Energy Action Plan

15 March 2010

Harnessing the full potential of marine energy could provide enough power… for up to 15million homes and save up to 70million tonnes of C02 by 2050 according to the Government’s Marine Energy Action Plan. The document also highlights the potential for the marine energy sector to provide up to 16,000 jobs, with a quarter of these in exports.

ACT ON CO2 roadshow

12 March 2010

We’re in the Victoria Centre in Nottingham on Saturday 13th March… from 9am to 6pm for our ACT ON CO2 roadshow Come along and say hello if you're local - we're ready to offer advice on the steps you can take to save money and energy.

New electricity generation

3 March 2010

The final plans for changing the way new electricity generation is connected… to the UK’s power grid were published for consultation today by Energy and Climate Change Minister David Kidney.

The plans, called Connect and Manage, will clear the way for renewable energy projects such as wind farms to connect to the grid in time to meet the 2020 renewable energy targets.

Gardeners urged to go ‘peat-free’ in new government campaign

3 March 2010

A new ACT ON CO2 campaign is launched this week, urging gardeners to go ‘peat-free’… when they buy compost and play their part in the fight against climate change. 

When peat is harvested for use in growing media like multi-purpose compost, it not only damages UK lowland habitats but releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The equivalent of around half a million tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted each year as a result of peat extraction from UK sites for horticultural use, and this doesn’t take account of the fact that we import over 50% of our peat from overseas.

Secretary of State for the Environment Hilary Benn said:

‘Amateur gardeners are by far the biggest users of peat, using over 2 million cubic metres each year. Our research shows us that gardeners often don’t realise the damage that peat extraction causes - not just on the depletion of a natural resource that takes hundreds and thousands of years to form and the release of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, but also in damaging valuable habitats for animals, plants and insects.’

World's biggest wind turbine blades

18 February 2010

The latest £8m funding for offshore wind technology was made available today… as the Prime Minister hailed the UK as a 'global leader' in the offshore wind market.

The announcement came as Clipper Windpower confirmed that it is to start construction of a factory in Newcastle to build the biggest wind turbine blades in the world.

Energy security boost

15 February 2010

The UK’s gas storage capacity could increase by 30%…, as the Government today issued the first licence under a new regime to encourage the construction of more gas storage.

The Gateway Project, located in the east Irish Sea, would create twenty new salt caverns each the size of the Albert Hall.

Boiler Scrappage Scheme

15 February 2010

54,758 vouchers have been snapped up under the Government’s Boiler Scrappage scheme… leaving around 70,000 vouchers worth a total of £28 million still up for grabs.

The scheme was launched in January to upgrade up to 125,000 household heating systems in England to cut carbon, save money on fuel bills and sustain work for the heating industry.

All the major energy companies which sell and install boilers (British Gas, E.On, npower and Scottish & Southern) have now matched the offer, giving householders potentially £800 off the cost of a new efficient boiler. Some manufacturing companies are also offering deals.

Climate change financing webcast

12 February 2010

On Friday 12 February the Prime Minister joined a videoconference with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia… to launch a High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing. The launch follows the agreement reached at Copenhagen that 100bn dollars a year of public and private finance was needed by 2020 to help developing countries cope with the consequences of climate change and transition to low carbon models of economic development.

Mitigation pledges submitted to UN

4 February 2010

Sixty-one countries have submitted mitigation pledges to the UN…, under a 'soft' January 31 deadline agreed under the Copenhagen Accord.

The 61 countries account for over 78% of global emissions from energy use and include major emitters such as US, China, India, EU.

Ed Miliband, Secretary of State on Energy and Climate Change, responded to the country mitigation pledges by acknowledging the global and 'irreversible' recognition that emissions cuts is 'the right thing to do'.

Green makeover for low carbon winners

4 February 2010

Twelve communities from across the UK are today celebrating… after winning up to £500,000 each to help install new green technologies such as solar panels, hydro turbines and energy saving insulation.

The grant money, awarded through the Government’s Low Carbon Community Challenge, will be spent on a range of green measures which will cut carbon, save money on energy bills, and could even see some communities make cash from generating their own energy – thanks to the Government’s new clean energy scheme.

New nuclear for the south west

3 February 2010

Residents of Oldbury are this weekend being asked to have their say… on whether Oldbury in South Gloucestershire, should be a potential site for a new nuclear power station. It has been listed by Government in its draft Nuclear National Policy Statement published on 9 November 2009.

Following Copenhagen the UK is committed to lead by example and encourage more energy sources that don’t harm the planet, but also boost Britain’s own energy security.

PM’s letter on climate change

1 February 2010

The Prime Minister has written a letter to the chair of the Liaison Committee…, Dr Alan Williams MP, setting out the way forward on climate change after Copenhagen. Gordon Brown is to give evidence to the Liaison Committee on 2 February 2010.

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Reports and policy

Climate change – official reports and Government policy

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The global effects of climate change

Around the globe climate change will affect rainfall patterns, cause snow and ice to melt and affect the intensity of extreme weather