Commitment by new government will account for 1% of all UK emissions - equivalent to taking 200,000 cars off the road
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 12 May 2010 17.34 BST
The new Conservative-Lib Dem coalition has pledged to cut central government emissions by 10% in the next 12 months - equivalent to taking more than 200,000 cars off the road. The commitment is the most high-profile success to date for the 10:10 climate change campaign, which launched in September last year.
Emissions from central government are about 1% of total UK emissions - as much as the city of Liverpool. A 10% cut is amounts to 600,000 tonnes of CO2.
"This is the first announcement the coalition has made, and the inclusion of their 10:10 commitment bodes well for the importance they'll place on carbon reduction this term," said Eugenie Harvey, campaign director of 10:10. "We're glad to see they're walking the walk."
The campaign, which is supported by the Guardian, calls on individuals, businesses and other organisations to make similar 10% cuts and has signed up over 65,000 people, 2,610 businesses and 3,100 organisations and educational institutions.
The movement includes Royal Mail, Lovebox music festival, Tottenham Hotspur football club and the Tate Modern as well as celebrities such as Delia Smith, Colin Firth and Radio 1 DJ Sara Cox.
Within days of the launch of the campaign, the members of all three front bench teams signed up on an individual basis. So far 158 local authorities have signed up. When they made the commitment, 50 councils were Conservative held, 32 Labour, 40 Lib Dem and 36 with no overall control (the balance of some of these councils will have changed in last week's elections).
In October, the Liberal Democrats brought legislation before parliament to sign up government and public sector bodies to 10:10. The Conservatives supported the measure but it was defeated by the Labour government.
The 10:10 movement has also spawned sister groups in France, Ghana, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal and Germany.