Progressio welcomes Climate and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne’s announcement that the government will agree a legally binding fourth carbon budget. This answers the key demand made of the government by Progressio campaigners, to accept the budget set out by the independent Committee on Climate Change. Ahead of the decision, Progressio campaigners petitioned no.10 to highlight the impact of climate change on people in developing countries, such as Peruvian alpaca farmer Humberto Lizano. Campaigners were thanked in a letter from Climate Change Minister Greg Barker MP.

Tim Aldred, Head of Policy at Progressio, said: “Poor communities around the world are already suffering the effects of climate change - largely caused by emissions from industrialised countries - on their water supplies, agriculture, and from increasingly severe natural disasters. Their message is that richer countries like the UK must now take a lead in tackling climate change.

“However, there are too many get-out clauses in this statement which could allow this important commitment to be watered down in the future. Agreeing a target for today is one thing. Making it stick over the long term will require dogged determination.”

Humberto Lizano, a Peruvian farmer who has experienced the devastating impacts of climate change first hand, told Progressio supporters recently: "Climate change is bringing us freezing days and a high incidence of sun. And these big temperature changes do not allow agriculture to flourish. The people who suffer most are those with a precarious personal economy, like the alpaca farmers or the cereal or potato farmers."

Responding to the UK decision on a fourth carbon budget, Humberto said: "Our Andean snow caps and Amazonian forests will only remain for future generations if we drastically reduce the levels of contamination of the highly industrialised countries. Let's contribute to this and stop destroying our future."

Tim Aldred concluded: “Humberto and others like him will be encouraged that the UK is continuing to act to cut emissions. That agreement has now been reached on these ambitious targets - despite reports of disagreements within government - is a very welcome step, but there is still a long road to travel.”

Photo: Progressio campaigners hold "A-llama-ed about climate change" signs after delivering a petition to No. 10 Downing Street (photo © Layton Thompson/Progressio)