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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

29 Jun 2009 05:06:07

US climate change bill passed by Congress

US climate change bill passed by Congress
The US Congress has taken a significant step towards establishing a low-carbon economy after voting to bring in legally-binding carbon reduction targets.

In a closely contested vote (219 to 212), the House of Representatives decided to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), which included a target to cut emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.

The bill, which will now be voted on by the Senate, also calls for an 83 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, which will be reached with the aid of a national cap-and-trade system.

US president Barack Obama has championed the climate change bill, which is the first of its kind ever to have been passed by Congress.

"Today, the House has passed the most important energy and environment bill in our nation's history," said Edward Markey, chairman of its select committee on energy and commerce.

The ACES act also requires electric utilities to meet 20 percent of the nation's demand through renewable energy sources by 2020.

It calls for $90 billion (£54 billion) of investment in clean energy technologies by 2025 and consumer protection to ensure that the costs of reducing carbon emissions are not burdened on their shoulders.



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