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MP’s, Government is not green enough

by Alan Harten
August 9, 2009

MPs have warned that if government departments do not start to clean up their acts and cut back their carbon emissions as the Government dictated departments may need to pay better performing firms under the upcoming Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme.

While the government said that this does not mean taxpayers will need to pay, it is only reasonable to assume that the government departments will use taxpayers’ money to pay the fines for failure to reduce emissions by 12.5% before 2011.

MPs that form the Environmental Audit Committee are also concerned at the lack of renewable energy that the government has taken advantage of when it comes to the construction of government office buildings.

Chairman of the committee, Tim Yeo, stated that the government needs to show leadership through its own actions because they cannot preach the need for non-renewable resources and then ignore their own advice when it comes to their construction projects.

As of right now approximately 5,000 organizations will have to purchase CO2 allowances for failure to decrease the amount of their CO2 emissions according to the Carbon Reduction Commitment. The money that is raised from the purchase allowances will be given back to the participants if they make positive progress towards reducing CO2 emissions in the future.

Yeo voiced concern that taxpayers will end up footing the bill if the government does not reduce CO2 emissions since it will have to purchase carbon credits from the private sector. According to Yeo there are areas where government offices have not made any efforts to decrease their CO2 output and in some areas they have actually increased their emissions instead.

The best Government building is the Treasury Department which has successfully reduced carbon emissions by 41.7%, a sharp contrast to the purest performing Government agency, the Department for Children, Schools, and Families who are only at 16.3%.

On a positive note, a separate report by the Sustainable Development Commission stated the government was making positive progress when it came to recycling in 2008.

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