UK beats France in race to cut greenhouse gas emissions

by Search Gate staff. Published Wed 03 Feb 2010 01:17
Paris falls behind London in annual GHG reduction

The UK has beaten its near-neighbours France in reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but still belches 100 million more tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

According to the lastest national emission staistics, the “nation of shopkeepers” reduced its GHG by 1.9 percent compared to its cross-channel rival's reduction of just 0.6 percent.

However, the UK emissions of the basket of six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol was estimated to be 628.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent compared to France's total of 527 million tonnes.

The UK has exceeded by 6.9 percent its Kyoto targets of reducing its entire greenhouse gas emissions after cutting its GHG output on 1990 levels by 19.4 percent against an agreed protocol goal of 12.5 percent.

France's 2008 tally was 6.4 percent below the target set under the Kyoto Protocol, which sets industrialised signatory nations binding objectives for curbing greenhouse gases.

According to the French Ecology Ministry the fall in 2008 “occurred despite tougher climate conditions” and followed a two percent decline in 2007 from 2006.

The French government claimed the rate slowdown of year-on-year emissions in 2008 was as a result of “the financial and economic crisis, which caused a significant slowdown" in economic activity in the second half of that year.

Commenting on the publication of the final estimates of UK greenhouse gas emissions, Minister for Energy and Climate Change Joan Ruddock said: “Today’s greenhouse gas emissions statistics are encouraging and show a continued decline in greenhouse gas emissions of nearly two percent during 2008.

“We are now clearly exceeding our Kyoto target of 12.5 percent below 1990 levels. UK emissions are now 19.4 percent below 1990 levels without emissions trading or 22 percent including emissions trading.

“The UK is demonstrating the kind of year-on-year reductions that set an example in the world community.

“We are determined to strengthen and sustain the momentum behind the low-carbon transition in the UK, supporting investment in low-carbon technology, creating green jobs and providing a healthier future for everyone.

“Building on the Copenhagen Accord is a priority for the Government and we will increase our efforts to encourage others not only to associate with it but to accelerate its implementation.”

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