Britain on Track for Kyoto Targets!

29 March 2008

Provisional statistics published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) showed that total greenhouse gas emissions dropped to 639.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2007, down from 652.3 million tonnes in 2006.


Net carbon dioxide emissions for 2007, including those that take into account removals from land-use change and forestry, also fell two percent to 543.7 million tonnes.


"These figures show we are making progress in cutting emissions and are on target to go beyond our Kyoto targets," Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said in a statement.


DEFRA said the decrease largely resulted from power generators switching their fuel from coal to natural gas, coupled with lower fossil fuel consumption by households and industry.


Under the United Nations' Kyoto Protocol, the UK has committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 percent by 2008-2012.

The provisional figures for 2007 put the UK some 19 percent below 1990 levels. Final figures for last year are to be published in early 2009.


Late last year, the government published a climate change bill that will adopt a legally-binding commitment to cut climate-warming emissions by at least 60 percent by 2050.


"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," Benn said.

"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."


The Climate Change Bill, expected to become law within two months, is currently before Parliament.



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