Christian Aid welcomes Climate Bill

 Christian Aid has welcomed the government's inclusion of a climate bill in the Queen's Speech but said that its provisions could have been stronger. The bill will commit the government to greenhouse gas cuts and makes provision for an independent 'Carbon Committee' to scrutinise its progress. Speaking from the UN Climate Conference in Nairobi, on Friday, Christian Aid's senior climate analyst Andrew Pendleton said that the carbon committee must include representatives of poor people. 'Having some sort of scrutiny committee is a good idea but we must never forget it's poor people in the developing world who are hit hardest by the carbon emissions we pump into the atmosphere. "If anyone has a right to have a say in how fast we should cut our emissions in the UK, it must be poor people who suffer from it most but who have done least to cause global warming," he said. Mr Pendleton added that he was saddened by the government's unwillingness to adopt annual targets for emissions reductions. "Holding the government to account on a year-by-year basis would be far more effective in forcing the government to keep to its word than a five-year or ten-year target. "Of course, we recognise the need to be flexible, but financial budgets are made on a year-to-year basis when all manner of unpredictable events can occur. On this basis it seems absurd that we couldn't devise a carbon reduction target that takes into account the weather or a difference in the economic cycle," he said. "This matters because if we do not have yearly targets the danger is that the government will let them slip and we will have to make even tougher cuts in years to come."

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