The Government admitted yesterday what experts have been saying for some time — that it will miss by a large margin its own target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2010.
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 that the target had always been intended to be stretching.
The report “UK Climate Change Programme – Annual report to parliament, July 2008” 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,” said Martyn Williams of Friends of the Earth. “This unhappy situation is made even worse by the fact that these targets are out of date and massively underestimate the overall level of cuts that is needed.”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 and recent reports have shown the government slipping from its own agenda.