Provisional statistics published on Thursday, March 27 showed that emissions of greenhouse gases in 2007 were two percent lower than those of 2006.

The estimated net emissions of CO2 in 2007 were 543.7 million tonnes compared 554.5 million tonnes the year before.

The decrease in emissions has been attributed to a move away from coal towards natural gas for electricity generation and local reductions in energy consumption by businesses and individuals.

Secretary of State for the Environment, Hilary Benn said: “These figures show we are making progress in cutting emissions and are on target to go beyond our Kyoto targets.

“But there’s much to do at home and abroad if we are to going to avert dangerous climate change.

“We need to see a major change across the whole of the UK economy if we are to meet the ambitious emissions reduction targets set in the Climate Change Bill.

“To aid this, the Government will develop carbon markets and promote the development of low carbon technology, while continuing to work to get international agreement on global emissions targets.

“But while the Government can provide encouragement and incentives, we also need individuals and businesses to do their bit to cut their carbon footprint because it’s only by all of us tackling climate change that we will achieve success.”

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks added: “Today’s figures show that we are on the way to a low carbon future. Energy efficiency, more renewable energy, new nuclear and carbon capture and storage technology will all play a key part in ensuring that greenhouse gas emissions continue to fall.”

Sam Bond

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