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THE NEW ECONOMY002

caps have been tightened and emissions are falling.Early adopters are vital to the success of anypioneering product, pushing forward innovation in themarket place. The United Kingdom launched theworld's first domestic emissions trading scheme inApril this year. The Carbon Reduction CommitmentEnergy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) targets mid-sizedbusinesses and organisations that fall below theemissions threshold for inclusion in the EU ETS. As aresult of the EU's early adoption of emissions tradinglessons have been filtered into UK product, with thepurchase rather than allocation of carbon creditsensuring caps were less likely to be inflated.These early adoption schemes will deliver the lessonsthat will drive confidence in the success of aninternational scheme. As the body that administers andregulates CRC, we at the Environment Agency have toensure that it is backed up with a robust and effectiveregulation that is measurable, reportable and verifiable.The evidence of climate change remains. Glaciers areretreating. Weather patterns around the world arebecoming more erratic and more extreme. The mostintensive rainfall ever experienced in England over a 24hour period fell on Cumbria last November, causingtragic consequences of severe flooding. We cannot say for certain that these things - or indeedthe intense heat recently experienced in Australia, orthe droughts in Kenya - are caused by climate change.But we can see with our own eyes that the climatic,weather and temperature trends are changing, and weknow that these hitherto exceptional events are likely tobecome more frequent over coming years. Here in England and Wales, the Environment Agencyworks at the very point where people's lives intersectwith environmental change. We help people preventand cope with flooding, environmental degradation,water depletion, and pollution. And in our day to daywork we can see small things that are happening, allaround us. Damselflies and dragonflies are beingfound much further north than before, as they movewith the warming climate. Our yearly water testing over20 years has shown an average rise in temperature inour rivers of 0.6 degrees. These are small signals, butlike the canary in the mine, they foretell greater dangerin the future.If we can hold the average global air temperatureincrease to 2°C we have a chance of surviving more orless intact. But if it ends up being 4°C or more, theimpact on population, water resources, sea levels,agriculture, weather patterns, biodiversity, and thequality of human life across the world, will be severe. The world's environment agencies must be ready.Ready with capacity in human, technical and financialterms to deliver transparent, robust regulation of theemissions reduction measures the world badly needs.n044SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS