UK set to double Kyoto carbon cuts

Britain is on course to cut greenhouse emissions by almost double its Kyoto target for 2010, but set to miss the Government's own target, according to latest Government figures.

Emissions for 2005 were already 15.3% below 1990 levels, exceeding the 12.5% cut required under Kyoto by 2010, figures show.

If the effects of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme are taken into account, Europe’s emission cut increases to 18.8% below 1990 levels.

The fall in emissions over the 2004-5 period came mainly from the domestic sector, which saw emissions fall by 4.6%.

“These figures confirm that we are on track to meet and exceed our Kyoto target,” said environment secretary David Miliband.

“With emissions trading, we will almost double our Kyoto target, with an estimated 23.6% reduction in greenhouse gases on 1990 levels by 2010,” he said.

But meeting the Government’s target of cutting carbon by 20% by 2020, not taking carbon trading into account, is looking increasingly unlikely, he admitted.

“The 2010 goal was always designed to be stretching. We are making definite progress towards it, and the projected 16.2% reduction is testimony to that progress,” he said.

“However, the CO2 emission figures make it very clear that we need to do much more to cut emissions, and this is why the Climate Change Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech, will be essential to those efforts: providing a long-term framework with the necessary measures to reduce our emissions, including putting into statute our long-term goal to achieve a 60 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.”

Goska Romanowicz

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