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UK introduces landmark CO2 emissions legislation

[JURIST] The British government introduced a progressive new draft environmental bill [DEFRA materials; press release] on Tuesday that could control greenhouse gas emissions [JURIST news archive] until as far as the year 2050. Outlined in the Queen's Speech [text; PM materials; BBC backgrounder, the bill will focus on four items: cutting CO2 emissions by 60 percent by 2050, improving CO2 monitoring and reporting, creating new governmental powers to ensure success, and creating a committee to oversee the implementation of new measures. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [official website] said that he hopes this will encourage other countries, including the US, to adopt similar changes, saying that "This is a revolutionary step in confronting the threat of climate change...It sets an example to the rest of the world."

Last month, the Canadian government promised that it would respect [JURIST report] a pro-Kyoto Protocol [text; BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] bill passed by the legislature. Most recently in the US, five western state governors last month established the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative [PDF text; JURIST report], an agreement to work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their respective states. BBC News has local coverage.

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