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Tony Blair should show global leadership on climate change by introducing a new law in next month's Queen's Speech requiring annual cuts in UK carbon dioxide emissions, Friends of the Earth said today. Calls for a climate law, which would help make the UK a world leader in developing a low carbon economy, have the backing of most MPs and all the main political opposition parties [1]. Today's call for a new law comes as Tony Blair hailed the success of a UK-organised international climate summit in Mexico [2].

The campaign for a new climate change law, as called for by Friends of the Earth's climate campaign The Big Ask [3], has widespread support. Those backing calls for climate legislation requiring annual cuts in carbon dioxide emissions to be introduced to the next session of Parliament include:

  • 380 (59 per cent) of Westminster's 646 MPs - who have signed an Early Day Motion (178) backing a new climate law;

  • All the main political opposition parties. In his conference speech yesterday David Cameron said, " We have asked Tony Blair to put a Climate Change Bill in the Queen's Speech. If he does, we'll back it." The Liberal Democrats have also called for climate legislation to be introduced this autumn.

Friends of the Earth director, Tony Juniper said:

"There is now overwhelming political support for a new climate law to ensure that the UK cuts its carbon dioxide emissions every year. The alarm bells are ringing, but there is still time to act. Tony Blair must ensure that climate legislation is announced in next month's Queen Speech. The UK can show genuine global leadership on this issue by moving the country towards a low carbon economy."

Since Labour came to power in 1997 UK carbon dioxide emissions have increased, despite promises of substantial cuts. The new climate law would give government and business the confidence they need to invest in the solutions to climate change. It would ensure the UK plays its part in keeping temperatures from rising above danger levels and would set an example that the rest of the world could follow.

Some of the solutions that the Government could implement


1. A breakdown by English region and including Wales and Northern Ireland can be found below. Please note that convention dictates that Government Ministers and their counterparts in opposition parties do not sign EDMs. Full details of the EDM can be found at:

UK regional breakdown of support for EDM 178, which calls for a climate change bill:

South West - 65 percent MPs

Yorkshire and Humber - 58 percent MPs

North West - 54 percent MPs

London - 66 percent MPs

East Midlands - 40 percent MPs

East of England - 59 percent MPs

West Midlands - 57 percent MPs

South East - 64 percent MPs

North East - 67 percent MPs

Wales - 56 percent MPs

Northern Ireland - 66 percent MPs [Note that the five Sinn Fein MPs do not sign EDMs]

Scotland - 54 percent MPs



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Published by Friends of the Earth Trust