The Office of National Statistics has published the UK Carbon Dioxide emissions figures for 2009. They make interesting reading. Basically 2 years of recession has achieved a reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions 8 times greater than 10 years of continuous change to environmental legislation by the Labour Government.
Whilst on the topic of the effectiveness of legislation, here’s an old piece of information that I haven’t posted yet. In March 2003 Labour created a piece of legislation that required minimum environmental performance standards from all new building work or renovations in the Government Estate. A report by the National Audit Office found that 80% of Government procured building works failed to meet their own standard.
It just goes to show that the power of the individual consumer (even those working in Whitehall) to mitigate carbon emissions through behavioural change is far greater than national governments can achieve by legislation. We must radically re-think the way we approach climate change mitigation.