The Chancellor's Pre Budget Report was condemned by a senior Conservative MP yesterday as "grossly inadequate" in its response to the growing evidence of the "increasing risks of major and irreversible impacts from climate change".
Chairman of the Commons all party Environmental Audit Committee, Tim Yeo, hit out at the PBR's "lack of boldness" following publication of its fourth report of 2006-07, entitled Pre-Budget 2006 and the Stern Review.
Since 1997, the EAC has reviewed the Treasury's Pre-Budget Report, concentrating on the department's record on placing the environment at the heart of its fiscal policies.
In addition, this year the MPs focus on the lessons to be learned from the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change.
Mr Yeo said: "The PBR was a grossly inadequate response to the hardening evidence of the increasing risks of major and irreversible impacts from climate change.
"Coming in the wake of the Stern Review, the PBR's lack of boldness raises major doubts as to the Treasury's seriousness about implementing Stern's recommendations on domestic policy.
"What is required now is for the Government seriously to increase the scale and speed of its policies, to begin to achieve the kind of steep cuts in emissions Stern demonstrates are necessary."
The EAC report warns that the UK's target for reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent (from 1990 levels) by 2050, which the Government has included in its Climate Change Bill, is out of step with the global targets recommended by the Stern Review.
To bring it into line with Stern's suggested targets, the UK might have to make an 80 per cent cut (from 1990 levels) by 2050.
A Treasury spokesman said: "The Government is fully committed to meeting the climate change challenge as set out in the Stern review."