Update: For period ending 7 March 2008

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LEGISLATION

PRIMARY LEGISLATION
No Acts were passed during this period.

GOVERNMENT BILLS

Energy Bill
The Energy Bill contains the provisions necessary to implement UK energy policy following publication of the Energy Review 2006 and the Energy White Paper 2007 and with two aims in mind: to tackle climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions; and to ensure clean, secure and affordable energy.

These aims would be achieved through a number of measures, including a regulatory framework that enables private sector invest¬ment in carbon capture and storage projects, an updated Renewables Obligation, a strength¬ening of the regulatoiy framework for offshore gas supply infrastructure to facilitate private sector investment and ensuring that the operators of new nuclear power stations accumulate funds to meet the full costs of decommissioning and waste management costs. The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 10 January 2008 and had its second reading on 22 January 2008. It is currently passing through the committee stages.

Climate Change Bill
The Climate Change Bill proposes a framework in which the UK can achieve its long-term goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions and ensure that steps are taken to adapt to climate change. The main elements of the Bill include: the setting of statutory emissions targets leading to 2050 and beyond with five-year carbon budget periods; the establishment of a new independent body to advise the government and devolved administrations on reducing emissions (the Committee on Climate Change); powers to allow the Government and devolved administrations to establish domestic emissions trading schemes; a new system of annual reporting by the Government; and the support of other policy measures such as implementing the Carbon Reduction Commitment - a man¬datory cap-and-trade scheme. The Bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 14 November 2007. It has since passed through the committee stage into the report stage, with sessions held on 25 February 2008 and 5 March 2008.

Housing and Regeneration Bill
This Bill proposes to create a new Homes and Communities Agency (the 'HCA'), and the Office for Tenants and Social Landlords, with the HCA to deliver more social and affordable housing and to promote regeneration. The Bill would also abolish the predecessor organisations the Urban Regeneration Agency and Commission for the New Towns, which operated under the joint name of English Partnerships, as well as the Housing Corporation. The Bill proposes to introduce mandatory sustainability ratings for new homes, reflecting the fact that the current Code for Sustainable Homes is voluntary. Sustainability is stated to relate to the materials used in construction, services and equipment provided to or in connection with properties and other design aspects. The Bill provides for regulations to set sustainability standards relating to, among other matters, energy efficiency, water efficiency and flood risk, waste management and protecting the environment. The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 15 November 2007, with a second reading on 27 November 2007. It has since passed through the committee stages, but no dates have been set for the report stage.

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