ARCHIVE: Reducing the effects of climate change
The UK Government is leading the world in cutting emissions of greenhouse gases to reduce the effects of climate change. Defra has a major role to play in this.
The Department has direct influence over emissions from several sources, including agriculture, land use, waste, fluorinated gases, and industrial chemical processes such as acid manufacture. Together, these sources total roughly 15 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Defra also develops policies which cut emissions across virtually every sector of the economy. These policies, including work on the food chain, the water system, and sustainable patterns of consumption and production, play a vital role in meeting emissions targets by making our economy more sustainable and less resource-intensive.
State of play
Defra has made a commitment to reduce emissions in the sectors it influences by 2020 and on to 2050. These commitments are set out in the Government’s Low Carbon Transition Plan.
In March 2010 Defra published its Climate Change Plan, setting out the actions Defra is taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its policy areas.
The key actions include:
- supporting the agricultural industry’s first Greenhouse Gas Action Plan, which aims to save English farmers money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Defra will have the Action Plan independently assessed to help ensure it is fit for purpose, and will support its delivery through a joint board, advice to farmers, and investment in improving evidence.
- a new Peat Framework for Action, which Defra will consult on later this year.
- encouraging woodland creation, through a number of measures, including establishing a Woodland Carbon Task Force and consulting on the potential for company greenhouse gas reporting guidance to encourage new investment.
- extra emissions savings from products, where Defra is negotiating in the EU for new energy efficiency standards which should double the savings already achieved.
- further reducing emissions from waste, through a comprehensive plan, including a recently-launched consultation on placing restrictions on certain wastes going to landfill.
The annex to the Defra Climate Change Plan shows the details of the indicators we will use to track progress in reducing emissions.
We are also working across Government to make sure that our plans to tackle climate change, such as through a large increase in renewable energy, are not at the expense of the natural environment and are sustainable in the long term.
Please note the following correction: Fluorinated Gas emissions have fallen by 5.1MtCO2e since 1995, not since 1990 as expressed on page 119 of the Climate Change Plan.
For example, we are working with the Department for Energy and Climate Change to decide whether a renewable energy project in the Severn Estuary would make sense considering both the negative impacts it would have on this important environmental area and its potential for huge carbon savings.
- Severn Tidal Power (DECC website)
Page last modified: 8 July 2010
Page published: 16 September 2009