UK carbon emissions rise for the third consecutive year

Posted: 20 April 2006

At the end of March, the UK government's Climate Change Programme Review revealed that the government was not on track to meet its self-set target to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by 2010.

Provisional figures on carbon dioxide emissions in the UK show that emissions are up by two per cent since Labour came to power in 1997. Total emissions for 2005 were 157.4 million tonnes of carbon compared to 156.9 million tonnes in 2004.

The majority of this increase comes from the power sector whose emissions rose by 0.3 million tonnes of carbon in 2005. Carbon dioxide emissions from this sector are up by 15 per cent since 1997.

Keith Allott, Head of Climate Change at WWF, said: "The main reason for the increase in emissions from the power sector is due to a switch back from gas to coal in the last three years. The government must provide the incentive to move towards cleaner energy sources. The best way to do this is through putting tough restrictions on pollution from industry through the European Emissions Trading Scheme."

The 2005 UK provisional carbon dioxide emissions data can be found here.