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Britain to miss its emissions-cutting target

LONDON Britain said Tuesday that it would miss its own target to cut carbon dioxide emissions by about one-fifth, damaging Prime Minister Tony Blair's bid to lead the war on climate change and attracting scorn from environmentalists.

Blair has made tackling global warming a priority for his government and had set a domestic target for cutting emissions that was much more ambitious than Britain's commitment under the international Kyoto Protocol.

"It has proved to be a more difficult task than we had hoped to reach the targets that we had originally set," the environment minister, Margaret Beckett, told a news conference announcing the government's new Climate Change Review Program.

She said her long-delayed review would produce carbon dioxide cuts of only 15 percent to 18 percent from 1990 levels by 2010, compared with the government's target of 20 percent.

"But it is important to stress that we are not abandoning 20 percent and we do believe it is achievable and we will continue to strive to achieve it," Beckett added.

Environmental pressure groups said that Britain should have been well on the way to meeting its own goal nine years after it was set and criticized the government for failing to set the right course.

"Tough action is needed to tackle climate change," said Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth. "But once again the government has caved in to short- term political pressures and produced... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
Blair has made tackling global warming a priority for his government and had set a domestic target for cutting emissions that was much more ambitious than Britain's commitment under the international Kyoto Protocol.
 
"It has proved to be a more difficult task than we had hoped to reach the targets that we had originally set," the environment minister, Margaret Beckett, told a news conference announcing the government's new Climate Change Review Program.
 
She said her long-delayed review would produce carbon dioxide cuts of only 15 percent to 18 percent from 1990 levels by 2010, compared with the government's target of 20 percent.
 
"But it is important to stress that we are not abandoning 20 percent and we do believe it is achievable and we will continue to strive to achieve it," Beckett added.
 
Environmental pressure groups said that Britain should have been well on the way to meeting its own goal nine years after it was set and criticized the government for failing to set the right course.
 
"Tough action is needed to tackle climate change," said Tony Juniper of Friends of the Earth. "But once again the government has caved in to short- term political pressures and produced a totally inadequate response."
 
The World Wide Fund for Nature was similarly dismissive.
 
"Tony Blair's credibility on climate change at home and abroad is now in tatters," the group's chief executive, Robert Napier, said. "This proves that Blair has talked a good game on climate change but consistently failed to convert words into action."
 
Under the Kyoto Protocol, Britain must cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 12.5 percent by 2012, a goal it seems certain to achieve.
 
The Climate Change Review Program was delayed by more than a year because of a battle between the Department of Environment, which wanted large emissions cuts, and the Department of Trade and Industry, which wanted smaller cuts to avoid damaging competitiveness.
 
The climate review also resulted in consultations for phase two of the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme, due to come into effect in 2008 and run to 2012.
 
The government said it was aiming for annual carbon emissions cuts by industry of 3 million to 8 million tons during that period, but would not finalize this until its EU neighbors had also made their intentions clear.
 
"We don't want to make the first offer," the industry minister, Alan Johnson, told the news conference. "There are other EU member states who are not meeting their Kyoto commitments, and we need to see what offers they are going to make."
 
The government said the brunt of the burden of cutting emissions would be borne by the electricity industry.
 
Beckett said the review would usher in a range of new policies to promote renewable energy sources like waves and wind, including rooftop solar panels and windmills as part of a new microgeneration policy the government also announced Tuesday.
 
It would encourage greater energy efficiency in households by means such as insulation, give consumers more information on the greenest products, promote environmentally friendly energy sources for transport like biofuels, and improve the energy efficiency of buildings.



Source: http://champlainislander.co...

MAR 29 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1916-britain-to-miss-its-emissions-cutting-target
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