Aug 4, 2008

UK in 'delusion' over global emissions

The U.S. economy and population has expanded at a robust rate for any advanced economy while leading the world in emission reductions. But, the UK has been living under a delusion over its claim to be cutting greenhouse gases...
They show that instead of falling since the 1990s, UK greenhouse emissions have been growing in line with the economy.
This is dependent on emissions from aviation, shipping and imported goods being counted.
At the moment they are excluded under the internationally agreed system for carbon accounts.
They are a massive blow to the British government which claimed to have grasped the Holy Grail of climate policy - de-coupling economic growth from emissions growth.
The government has known about this for a very long time but has just refused to face up to it - Stuart Bond, WWF
An SEI report to be published shortly by the campaign group WWF will suggest that the UK's total greenhouse gas emissions are 49% higher than reported emissions.
And a recent little-noticed report for the government department Defra showed that rather than going down 5% as ministers claimed, CO2 emissions have gone up 18% between 1992 and 2004 when all emissions are counted.
This confirms, as BBC News pointed out last year, that the UK's apparently virtuous carbon cuts have only been achieved because we are getting countries like China to do our dirty work.
"The government has known about this for a very long time but has just refused to face up to it.
"There is no way the government can hope to achieve any of its emissions targets without cheating unless it changes its policies on encouraging flying and hoping to satisfy people's insatiable demands for buying more and more stuff."
"There's a very fundamental problem here that no-one really wants to talk about."