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Air travel to knock UK CO2 emissions off target

Date: 14-Feb-03
Country: UK

The independent Sustainable Development Commission said existing measures to cut emissions of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) were unlikely to achieve even two thirds of the government's targets, and maybe less than half.

The government's goal is to cut CO2 emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2010.

"Our analysis shows that the UK will fall well short of the government's goal for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, unless further measures are taken," said commission chairman Jonathon Porritt.

Particularly worrying were emissions from air travel, which had been excluded from government calculations and were putting at risk targets set out in the government's 10-year transport plan, said the commission.

Porritt urged ministers to use a white paper on future energy policy, due shortly, to put in place extra measures.

The government is banking on renewable energy sources such as wind turbines, as well as increased energy efficiency, to bring big reductions in emissions.

Britain was on track to meet targets on total greenhouse gas emissions set out in the Kyoto Protocol, the commission said.

Under Kyoto, the UK is committed to cutting total greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 percent from 1990 levels over the period 2008-2012.

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