[JURIST] The UK House of Commons [official website] on Tuesday gave final approval [session transcript] to the Climate Change Bill [draft text; materials], which requires the country to cut its greenhouse gas emissions [AFP report] by 80 percent by the year 2050. The bill, heralded as the first binding legislation of its kind, also provides for the creation of a Committee on Climate Change to advise the government on how to cut emissions, and requires regular reporting by the government on how policies are impacting overall emissions. It also gives the government authority to enact secondary regulations designed to meet the bill's goals, including the creation of a domestic emissions trading plan. Parliament is currently considering an energy bill [materials] which includes provisions providing incentives for solar and other alternative energies designed to help the country meet its emissions goals. The Climate Change Bill must still be signed by the Queen before becoming law, but the step is a mere formality.
The Climate Change Bill was originally introduced [JURIST report] in March 2007 and initially proposed to cut the UK's carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent by 2050. Parliament's Joint Committee on the Draft Climate Change Bill [official website] later successfully convinced the body to amend to bill [JURIST report] to cover all greenhouse gases and increase the reduction to 80 percent.