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U.K. climate change bill introduced


LONDON— In today's Queen's Speech, United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair introduced a legislative proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, among other measures designed to address climate change.

The Queen's Speech sets out the government's legislative agenda and marks the opening of Parliament.

The Climate Change Bill calls for a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and would also create an independent body— the Carbon Committee— charged with helping the country better manage and ultimately reduce emissions.

The Association of British Insurers stated that it welcomed the introduction of the Climate Change Bill, but urged the government to also increase spending on defenses against flooding, which is linked to climate change.

"Climate change means, amongst other things, that the risk of flooding will increase. Managing the risk will enable flood insurance to remain widely available," Jane Milne, the ABI's head of property insurance said in a statement.

"Urgent action is needed here — we believe that Government spending on flood defenses needs to increase by 10% a year to £750 million (1.15 billion euros) by 2011 to deal with that risk," she added.