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British carbon reduction plan revealed

According to an ambitious scheme presented by the British government on Wednesday, 40 percent of the country’s electricity is to come from renewable sources by 2020.

AP/Michael von Bülow 15/07/2009 18:30

The British government detailed ambitious plans Wednesday to cut carbon emissions substantially by 2020, and said 40 percent of the country’s electricity by then would come from renewable sources.

The proposal on fighting climate change envisions expansions in wind energy as well as continued use of nuclear power and clean coal.

It also plans for the average new car to be emitting 40 percent less carbon from what they discharge today.

A government study predicts that 1.2 million Britons will be working in “green” energy jobs by 2020.

Britain’s goal is to reduce carbon emission by 34 percent in 2020, as compared with 1990.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said the newest proposal — which now must be debated by lawmakers — relies on expanding the use of wind energy, insulating homes better, installing sophisticated electric meters and other measures.

“This is a route map for how as a country we are going to take the carbon dioxide out of what we do, in the way we provide energy, in our homes, and in the ways we provide transport as well.” he said.

“There will be big changes in our lifestyle, and big benefits for us, as well as avoiding the disaster of climate changes.”

Miliband admitted the government must persuade Britons to back the plans for expanding wind farms, and said costs for consumers would likely rise as Britain moves to a low carbon economy.

“There will be strong regulation, and help for those who need it, to make sure that this is fair,” he said.

The government’s plans were generally well received by environmental groups, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.

Andy Atkins, executive director of Friends of the Earth, said the planned measures were welcome, but more decisive steps were needed.

“We need more ambitious emissions cuts, greater levels of investment and an industrial strategy that really delivers,” he said.

I can’t beat that. Big, bold, wonderful leadership. But will it happen?


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