Cameron promises greenest government ever

17 May 2010

17 May 2010 | Lindsay Clark

Carbon emissions from central government will be cut by 10 per cent in the next 12 months, the new UK coalition government has said.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the policy would require government department headquarters to publish online in real time their energy use so that the public can hold ministers and civil servants to account for their carbon footprint.

The steering group in charge of overseeing the reduction will be chaired by energy and climate change secretary Chris Huhne, and will comprise representatives from key departments and the private sector.

The prime minister will write to all colleagues to reaffirm this shared commitment and invite them to bring forward their plans to help meet this common target.

In 2008-09 central government, covering 8,000 buildings, was responsible for 1.45 million tonnes of carbon emissions, which is about 7 per cent of public sector emissions. The annual energy spend was £195 million.

Cameron said: “I don’t want to hear warm words about the environment. I want to see real action. I want this to be the greenest government ever.

“I commit us to a 10 per cent reduction in carbon emissions across central government in the next 12 months. The public will be involved too – because we’re going to publish the energy use of government headquarters in real time so people can hold us to account for our performance.”

Huhne added: “I intend to make decisions put off for too long to fundamentally change how we supply and use energy in Britain.”

Charles Hendry and Greg Barker are new ministers of state in the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

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