The UK Government's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has launched a program to challenge householders and drivers to save energy and cut back their carbon emissions. The Government's nationwide ACT ON CO2 People Power Challenge was launched on November 27, 2008. This challenge marks the passing of three major pieces of legislations - the Climate Change, Energy and Planning Bills, which are aimed to help facilitate the UK's transition to a low-carbon economy, deliver secure, long-term energy supply and enforce ambitious targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent.

This challenge will follow volunteers from Newcastle, Birmingham and Portsmouth as they try to reduce their energy use in their daily lives, by tracking their progress on a dedicated website and sharing tips and comparing their successes.

The DECC advises that, under the Climate Change Act 2008, the UK will introduce five-yearly 'carbon budgets' detailing how emissions targets will be met, bring in plans on corporate reporting for businesses and eliminate free single use carrier bags. The Energy Act 2008 will see the expansion of renewable energy technologies as well as the introduction of new technologies such as carbon capture and storage and smart meters. In addition, the development of new civil nuclear power will be captured by this Act. Lastly, the Planning Act will address home energy efficiency and simplify planning permission processes for all large energy infrastructure projects.

With the Planning Act in place, the Government hopes that it can create faster and fairer planning systems to help reduce the country's dependency on fossil fuel and build new generation based on renewable energy sources like wind power.

For more information about this campaign, please go to: http://campaigns.direct.gov.uk/actonco2/home.html.