Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Acting as One in the Fight to Save Our Earth; Actions to Make Our Country Greener Will Soon Be Made Law. AMY HUNT Spoke to Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock about What the Climate Change Bill Will Mean for the North East

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Acting as One in the Fight to Save Our Earth; Actions to Make Our Country Greener Will Soon Be Made Law. AMY HUNT Spoke to Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock about What the Climate Change Bill Will Mean for the North East

Article excerpt

Byline: AMY HUNT

Q: What does the Climate Change Bill hope to achieve and why?

A: The first thing to say about "climate change is that 97% of people think it is a reality.

They also think Government should lead on the response to it.

No matter what we do, we have had 30 years of temperature rises and 100 years of sea level rises as a result of our emissions.

So we have to think about what we can contribute to prevent dangerous climate change happening throughout the world. In terms of trying to reduce carbon dioxide, we produce emissions from our big industry, from energy generation, and 40% of all climate change gases produced come from the actions of individuals. The Climate Change Bill says we will commit to reducing emissions by 60% 2050."

Q: Is a law the best way of helping the environment? Shouldn't it be left up to individuals?

A: We need a law because we need to be able to plan for the whole country.

As a Government, we have to put our own house in order, so we have targets to bring down our use of energy production, of waste, to reduce our air travel and so on.

When it comes to individuals, Government doesn't dictate to people what their choices are. We're saying individuals need to make a contribution.

Q: Can you reassure people in the North East that the Climate Change Bill will not damage the region's growth?

A: There have been a lot of studies to show that if companies do things to save energy, they will save money.

New businesses are growing up all the time, and environmental industries are making money. It's about moving our country forward in an optimistic way.

Q: I still hear a lot of people saying they do not believe in climate change and think it is a ruse to make money. How would you respond?

A: There will always a group of people who will be against everything Government does. …

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