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New campaign to cut UK’s carbon emissions

Source: Carbon Offset Daily

A new climate change campaign, backed by celebrities and some of the UK’s biggest businesses, aims to tackle global warming by asking everyone to pledge to cut their carbon emissions by ten per cent.

The 10:10 campaign, which aims to capture the public imagination in the same way as the Make Poverty History drive, was launched by a host of celebrities at the Tate Modern in London on Tuesday.

Organisers are asking everyone to cut carbon emissions by making a few simple lifestyle changes in order to save energy and therefore reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Such changes could include, for example, only taking one flight every year, walking or cycling to work and insulating the loft.

Already, leading celebrities have signed up the cause, including Colin Firth, Delia Smith, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Ian McEwan and Zac Goldsmith.

Businesses and the public sector are also being asked to cut emissions and big organisations including Tottenham Hotspur, the NHS Trusts and the Women’s Institute are already involved.

The campaign was inspired by a recent film The Age of Stupid which warned of the catastrophic consequences of climate change if the world fails to cut greenhouse gases.

Fanny Armstrong, director of the film and founder of 10:10, said she was inundated with requests from concerned members of the public asking how they could take action.

She decided to bring together millions of people to cut their own emissions while also putting pressure on the Government and industry to do their part.

“10:10 aims to enlist every person, every school, every business, every hospital in the country to commit to cut their own emissions by 10 per cent next year, and then, crucially, demand that the Government follows suit,” she said. “We have left it terrifyingly late to start tackling climate change but there is still just about time as long as everyone gets involved straight away.”

If all 61million people in the uk reduced their emissions by 10 per cent the saving would be aproximately 85 million tonnes of co2.

Sara Cox, the Radio 1 DJ, was there for the launch.

“The great thing about 10:10 is that it’s so easy for everyone to get involved,” she said. “This isn’t a campaign asking people to make unrealistic changes, this is about the little differences that you can make that will have a big impact on the future of the planet. For me that means turning lights off when I’m not in a room and walking more instead of taking the car. I think celebrities should play a huge part in leading the way, we’re used to seeing them ferried around in Bentley’s and private jets, perhaps they can lead by example. I’d love to see Simon Cowell arrive for The X Factor on a bike!”

Scientists have agreed that carbon emissions must be cut to keep global warming below 2 degrees Centigrade.

At the moment the UK is committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 and in December the whole world will decide targets at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

Environmentalists want the rich world to commit to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020 at the same time as providing money to help poorer countries adapt to climate change and cut their own emissions.

The 10:10 campaign will call on all rich countries to make ambitious cuts in carbon.

Ed Miliband, the Energy Minister, backed the campaign.

“As government, we are in the best position to make it as easy as possible for everyone to cut their carbon emissions.” he said.

“By signing up to the 10:10 campaign, I hope people will be sending a broader message to governments around the world. They need to agree a global deal at Copenhagen that is ambitious in cutting emissions, fair to developing countries and effective in holding countries to their word.”

Speaking in Bangladesh, he added millions would be condemned to poverty and homelessness if world leaders fail to reach a deal to reduce emissions at the Copenhagen summit.

However Mike Childs, Head of Climate Change at Friends of the Earth, said the Government and energy companies could be doing far more to make it easier to save ten per cent. For example, by providing subsidies to help people insulate their homes and making it easier to travel by public transport.

“The Government is doing far too little, as are the energy companies,” he said. “They should be making much more effort in terms of decarbonising the housing stock – which is the worst in Europe – and helping to cut transport emissions.”

 






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