Public backs law to enforce cuts in emissions

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Three quarters of the public would support a new law designed to lessen carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new survey.

As the musicians Thom Yorke from Radiohead and Gruff Rhys of the Super Furry Animals take to the stage today in London to draw attention to global warming, the poll commissioned by Friends of the Earth finds that 75 per cent of respondents favour legally binding targets on climate change.

Support for the change in law was highest in the Midlands, where 82 per cent of people backed the proposal.

Tony Juniper, the director of Friends of the Earth, said: "Like Thom York and the other artists playing The Big Ask Live, the vast majority of people want to see the Government take action to tackle climate change."

The results will provide an upbeat backdrop to the sell-out gig in London's Koko nightclub tonight, which is being held in support of the charity's Big Ask drive to tackle climate change. The campaign is calling for a law that would force the Government to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by three per cent a year.

Tonight's event, which also features folk singer Kate Rusby, has provided yet another opportunity for politicians keen to position themselves on the right side of the climate change issue. The Conservative leader David Cameron and the local government minister David Miliband will be present at the gig, which will be hosted by the comedian Simon Astell.

In The Independent today Mr Cameron reiterates his intention to introduce "binding, year-on-year targets for carbon emissions, and setting a price for carbon across the whole economy".

The Conservative leader also defended himself against charges of hypocrisy, following revelations last week that his daily cycle rides to and from work are accompanied by a car carrying his suit, shoes and box files.

"Most nights I have a huge box of work that I am supposed to do," he said, "often including dozens and dozens of letters and documents. That's why it sometimes gets ferried around in a car." If he could find panniers big enough to carry his work, then he would use them instead, he said.

Although climate change has topped the political agenda for much of the year, CO 2 emissions in the UK continue to rise.