Feeds

Brown blushes over green cuts

Was that cut emissions, or cut the budget?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Gordon Brown is preparing to give his first major speech on the action the government is taking to tackle climate change, but it will be against a background of massive cuts in the government agency charged with managing the environment, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

According to a Guardian report, Defra is facing £300m of cuts as it struggles to make its budget stretch around the agricultural crises of the summer, payments to the EU, and a resurgence of bird flu. The cuts are likely to hit those agencies dealing with recycling, energy saving, carbon emissions and nature protection, the newspaper says.

Defra's permanent secretary, Helen Ghosh, has put together a round of cuts totalling £270m, on top of savings already announced. The Guardian says it has seen a document detailing how the belt will be tightened in two phases - an immediate budget reduction of £130m, and the potential for another £140m of more "radical" savings.

Two agencies that seem likely to take heavy hits are the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and Nature England.

WRAP was set up to help promote recycling and educate people about the need to divert waste from the landfill sites that will soon cost the government huge amounts of cash in EU fines. It will receive no new funding from Whitehall. Meanwhile, Nature England is being forced to repay its set up costs of £12m, drop 30 per cent of its budget for new conservation work, and meet annual cuts of two per cent across the board.

All this precedes the prime minister's speech today, in which he is expected to echo recent UN statements that climate change is a real problem that must be tackled with urgency. He is set to reiterate Britain's commitment to European targets on renewable energy, possibly even raising the targets, and argue that dealing with climate change will create new jobs.

In a statement on Sunday, Brown said: "Developed countries have historic responsibility for causing climate change, and have the greatest capacity for reducing emissions. So we must show leadership and take the first and largest responsibility." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.