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U.K. government publishes draft climate change bill


LONDON—The U.K. government has published a draft Climate Change Bill that will, among other things, enable it to set legally binding five-year carbon emissions budgets set 15 years in advance.

David Miliband, the U.K.'s Environment Secretary, said that business should welcome these longer term budgets that will allow forward planning.

The draft bill, published Tuesday, is likely to be passed in 2008, according to Mr. Miliband. A consultation period on the proposals will run until June 12.

Among other things, the draft bill will set up an independent body, the Committee on Climate Change, to advise and guide the government on achieving its targets.

The Confederation of British Industry welcomed the bill and said it "strikes the right balance."

British businesses are already cutting emissions but they can do more, and this bill is a big step forward in combining the two things that we really need: long-term clarity on policy direction and flexibility in its delivery," Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI, said in a statement.