Environmental Protection Agency chief Ben Goldacre is leading a review of the EU’s environmental legislation, including proposals to introduce mandatory carbon trading and more stringent limits on emissions.
But the UK has a very different approach to environmental regulation than many other European countries, with its population a lot larger and its economy a lot more reliant on the energy industry.
Read moreThis has left the UK lagging behind in many areas, including its environment, and it has come to be seen as one of the world’s worst environmental performers.
“Our economy relies heavily on energy, but our environment is the most important issue facing the UK,” said Mr Goldacre in a statement.
“We are the most polluting nation in the world, and we have a problem with our climate and our air.”
Mr Goldacre said the UK needed to “rethink” its approach to regulating carbon emissions, which he described as “highly inefficient”.
He added that there was a “massive opportunity” for the UK to do more to reduce emissions and boost the economy.
“We need to think about the way we regulate the industry to make it work more effectively and to encourage the use of clean energy and clean technology,” he said.
Mr Hammond said the Government was committed to reducing emissions in the UK, including by 25 per cent by 2025.
However, he warned that the country would not be able to meet its ambitious target if the country’s economy remained stuck in a “perpetual recession”.
The Prime Minister said that while there was no doubt that the UK’s economy was on a strong track, it was also “unfair” to say that its economic recovery was “stagnant” or “frozen”.
“It’s a different economy in a different place, but we still have to tackle the issue of our carbon emissions and we still need to tackle climate change,” he told Sky News.
The Government has also promised to raise £4bn in funding for clean energy projects, which are often funded by carbon taxes.
Meanwhile, the Government has pledged to spend £300m to build a “Green Belt” on the country, a network of protected wetlands, to help farmers and other rural communities adapt to climate change.
In the first of a series of announcements, Mr Hammond announced that the National Audit Office will review the countrys carbon market.
He said the review would look at how the market operated and how it could be reformed.
‘We must stop letting ourselves be dragged down by a single government’ Mr Brown also said that the Government would work with the European Commission to improve the regulation of the carbon market and ensure the UK had the right legal framework to operate.
“I believe we must stop allowing ourselves to be dragged along by a government that has been a big carbon polluter, and I know we can, and will, do so,” he added.
According to a recent poll, 62 per cent of people in the country were in favour of the country taking the lead in tackling climate change and pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Prime Minster said the carbon tax was an “important tool” to help the UK meet its climate change targets.
It is understood that Mr Hammond is looking to improve how the UK collects and distributes the tax, as well as how it is managed.
“It is important that we do not allow ourselves to become a carbon polluters and continue to let ourselves be sucked into a recession,” he warned.
Climate change is a “very serious problem” and a “threat to the future” Mr Cameron has pledged that the government will deliver a carbon budget by 2021 and that the Chancellor would introduce a new levy on the value of carbon emissions.
Mr Brown said the Budget would provide a “bold” programme for tackling climate crisis.
“Our Government will deliver an ambitious budget, which will ensure that the carbon budget is an essential part of our long-term plan to keep the lights on, to keep our homes and our towns clean, and to keep people safe and secure,” he insisted.
We must tackle climate crisis now and we must take bold action.
What is carbon trading?
Carbon trading is a system in which carbon is sold back into the market in exchange for a specific quantity of credits.
These credits are then used to help people pay for more efficient and reliable power systems.
Under carbon trading, the value is determined by an exchange rate based on the wholesale price of the credits.
Under the current system, prices are determined by the market price of carbon credits at the point of purchase.
How can I know if my electricity is covered?
If your electricity supplier has a carbon trading scheme, they will show you when your electricity is being sold, whether it is carbon tax-free, or if it is not.
If you think your electricity supply has been carbon-traded, you can contact your supplier to check.
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