Environment Agency to outline emission cuts

The Environment Agency will today (November 9) give details of greenhouse gas emission reduction it believes will cut climate change over the next two decades.

The chairman of the agency, Lord Smith, is due to speak at the agency’s annual conference later today where he will call for ‘more scientists and more engineers’ to build the technology for a low carbon economy.

He will also, at the environment ’09: creating the climate for change at the QEII Conference Centre in London, call for a climate challenge fund, with match funding from business and government, to co-ordinate and prioritise research on combating climate change.

Lord Smith will also state his belief the Copenhagen talks should be seen as ‘the crucial start to a process, not the end’.

He will also urge Britain to lead a Green New Deal, creating more green jobs and technology to develop:

· Carbon-free energy production – a mixture of renewables, nuclear and carbon-capture and storage (CCS) for coal and gas.

· All cars, buses, lorries and trains running on electricity rather than petrol or diesel, supported by a recharging network.

· High-speed rail links across the UK and into Europe, to reduce the need for air travel.

· Minimal waste going to landfill, with emissions-free energy from waste in every area.

· Work to reduce emissions for high CO2-emitting industries, such as steel.

· High energy efficiency targets for all buildings and all major organisations.

· Personal carbon allowances for individuals.

Lord Smith will say: “If we’re serious about a low carbon economy, we will need more scientists and more engineers.

“Britain gave the world Newton, Darwin, Fleming and Brunel, in the new world of climate change, we will need science and engineering skills more than ever.

“How about establishing a climate challenge fund to support, co-ordinate and prioritise research work on combating climate change across leading academic institutions?

“Why not set it up on the principle of match funding – where every pound contributed by business is matched jointly by government and the universities?

“It would put Britain at the forefront of international research and make a real contribution to the solutions to climate change”

Luke Walsh

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