Towards a national programme on carbon dioxide emissions

A new phase in the debate about global warming has opened with the publication of a Government discussion document on options for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.1 The paper discloses that the Government believes that the proposed EC carbon/energy tax could on its own get the UK to its target of stabilising its CO2 emissions at 1990 levels by 2000. Other regulatory and economic instruments are also proposed. But the Government's views of the crucial role of gas in the power generation sector will not be made clear until it has completed its coal review.

Environmentalists dismayed by the outcome of the Earth Summit in Brazil were greeted with official reassurances that it was only the beginning of a process. As far as one of the event's main achievements, the global Convention on Climate Change (ENDS Report 208, pp 19-22 ), is concerned, the new discussion documen

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