UK climate bills get royal assent

The United Kingdom's climate-change bill, aimed at reducing the country's greenhouse-gas emissions, received royal assent on Wednesday night, the Guardian reported. The law sets the world's first legally binding targets for a nation to cut its emissions.


The climate legislation commits the current UK government and all subsequent governments to slashing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050. A new, independent climate-change committee will monitor the progress towards this target, as well as recommend the first three five-year carbon "budgets" on Monday.


At the same time, an energy bill was approved that allows energy companies to pay "feed-in tariffs" to homeowners, community groups and businesses that export excess low-carbon energy to the national grid.


The planning bill — the third "green" bill on the schedule — sets up a national committee to decide on important environmental developments. This bill has led environmentalists to make accusations that the legalisation may be used to push through big infrastructure schemes such as the expansion of London’s Heathrow airport.


See full story