05 August 2009

UK Government to Miss Short-Term Emissions Reductions Targets

A new report from the UK Environmental Audit Committee finds that the UK government is well behind in it efforts to cut carbon emissions, and is in fact moving in the wrong direction. Reuters reports:
Britain's government is in danger of missing its own targets on cutting public sector greenhouse gas emissions and taxpayers could end up paying for the failure, an influential group of lawmakers said on Wednesday.

In a critical report, a parliamentary committee said the government had made "little or no progress" in too many areas and may have to pay private companies to help meet its emissions targets.

Britain, which was the first country to set legally-binding national targets, has led calls for a tougher international deal on reducing greenhouse gases to help counter global warming.

It aims to cut its emissions by 34 percent by 2020, from 1990 levels, and wants other countries to accept a new climate change deal at talks in Copenhagen in December.

"Unless the government gets its house in order, taxpayers could end up paying a heavy price to buy carbon credits from the private sector," said Tim Yeo, chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, which compiled the report.
This is not a surprise. At the FT Jim Pickard opines:
The gap between ministerial rhetoric and action is rarely more visible than on green issues. . . If the government can’t make progress on the environment how does it expect the private sector to do so?
The full report can be found here.