UK Government lags behind target for own carbon emission cuts
The government's record in cutting its own greenhouse gas emissions was "extremely poor", Westminster's Environmental Audit Committee reported on Monday 14th July. Central government accounts for about 0.4 percent of Britain's total carbon dioxide emissions.
The report cited the independent Sustainable Development Commission which showed that the government was set to miss its target to cut carbon emissions by 12.5 percent by 2011 (based on levels in 2002).
It said that the government's aim to be carbon neutral by 2012 (i.e. to produce no net carbon emissions) would rely heavily on buying carbon offsets.
"In meeting this target from 2012 onwards it is important the Government does as much as possible to reduce its own emissions, rather than simply relying on buying carbon offsets," it said.
This report comes hot on the heels of other recent government criticisms; it has also come under pressure over plans to expand Heathrow, and its support of new coal plants and nuclear reactors.
Poor record on generating electrivity from renewable sources
The cross-party Audit Committee report also stated that the government's record on generating its own electricity from renewable sources was "extremely disappointing." It was buying "green" electricity generated by utilities from renewable sources such as wind power, but this was only clean energy which such power producers had to generate anyway under their environmental obligations.
Article Date: 16 July 2008
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