Ministers warned over climate change

Calls for the government to legislate for climate change in the same way it does for clean water and fresh air were made to a special select committee hearing in Norwich yesterday .

Calls for the government to legislate for climate change in the same way it does for clean water and fresh air were made to a special select committee hearing in Norwich yesterday.

Even before the six MPs arrived at UEA they got a taste of Norfolk's environ-mental commitment by being chauffeured from the train station in a bio-fuel bus.

And during two sessions they heard accounts from ordinary people about their experiences of trying to live a green life, giving evidence in the hope of influencing policy.

Themes included becom-ing carbon neutral, pushing forward renewables and frustrations about complic-ated grant funding but the most fervent message was that the time for talking was over and the time for action was now.

"The reason our air and water is cleaner is because the government passed acts to make that happen," said Dr Bruce Tofield, from the CRed carbon reduction campaign.

"We know climate change is happening and that it is going to by a big problem which could potentially consume up to 20pc of the gross domestic product in years to come and yet the government seems increas-ingly reluctant to make the same sort of laws that they have with air, water and also with waste."

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The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee was inspired to travel to Norwich after hearing about the UEA-based CRed scheme.

Committee chairman Michael Jack said they would produce a report on what they had heard to present to government.