Thursday, July 17, 2008

Britain admits it will miss 2010 CO2 target

ABC News Online

Posted 1 hour 52 minutes ago
Updated 1 hour 53 minutes ago

The British Government has admitted it will miss its own target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2010 by a large margin.

New projections from the Department of the Environment (DEFRA) put CO2 emissions in 2010 at only 15.5 per cent below 1990 levels, and note the target had always been intended to be stretching.

The UK Climate Change Program annual report to parliament said it expected emissions of CO2, the main climate warming culprit, to be 26 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

"The Government has clearly failed to take the action needed to meet its own targets for cutting the UK's carbon dioxide emissions," Friends of the Earth spokesman Martyn Williams said.

"This unhappy situation is made even worse by the fact that these targets are out of date and massively underestimate the overall level of cuts that is needed."

The Government has prided itself in taking a global leadership role in combating climate change, taking strong measures at home and keeping the issue in the forefront of international negotiations.

But its Climate Change Bill that will set a legal target of cutting national CO2 emissions by at least 60 per cent by 2050 is well behind schedule in the parliamentary process and recent reports have shown the Government slipping from its own agenda.

The Government has even admitted that it has been badly underestimating national emissions, noting that if carbon embedded in imports from China were included then far from falling they would actually have risen sharply.

A report issued by DEFRA ahead of last week's G8 summit in Japan said CO2 emissions fell by 5 per cent between 1992 and 2004.

But it said they actually rose by 115 million tonnes or 18 per cent over the same period when the carbon emissions linked to imported goods were included in the calculation.

- Reuters

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