Govt green policies 'contradictory'

Contradictory policies are preventing the government from fully meeting the challenges of climate change, MPs claimed today.

The environmental audit committee (EAC) said the government has made encouraging efforts to raise the profile of climate change issues at all levels.

But it warns that contradictions in cross-government policy remain.

The EAC report highlights tensions between regional airport expansion and the need to limit emissions aviation and says it is not clear how the targets to build more homes will be compatible with efforts to lower emissions.

It adds that increased road building and lack of a national strategy on road pricing are incompatible with the need to reduce emissions from road transport.

The MPs claim there needs to be a more joined up approach and argue it is the role of central government to ensure efforts by local, regional and devolved government are coordinated.

EAC chairman Tim Yeo said a "step change in the level of activity is needed at all levels" of government.

"While a great deal of attention is being paid to efforts to reduce emissions, much less is paid to adaptation. Even if we are successful in reducing emissions we will face changes in our climate and much more needs to be done to prepare for that," he added.

"It will be vital to get the right targets in place to deliver the kind of action needed on both mitigation and adaptation."

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