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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

12 Dec 2008 05:12:56

Government sustainability "on track", emissions reductions lagging



Government sustainability
Government's waste, water and travel sustainability targets are on course to being met, though greenhouse gas emissions are not falling quickly enough, according to the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC).

As a whole, the government is "on track" to meet most of its targets except those on carbon emissions and combined heat and power, the commission's figures for the financial year 2007-08 show.

"It's great to see departments finally starting to prioritise their sustainability duties and make progress in many areas," said Rebecca Willis, vice-chair of the SDC.

"However, there's still a long way to go - and it's clear that these targets must be the start of an ever more ambitious sustainability programme. In the current climate of volatile energy costs and financial constraints, these targets make good economic sense."

Despite the slow progress towards meeting emission reduction and combined heat and power targets, the SDC awarded the government four stars – one more than last year.

The figures show that emissions from government offices were down by 6.3 per cent since the baseline year – an improvement of 2.3 per cent from last year, but not on track for a 12.5 per cent reduction in 2010-11.

Carbon emissions from road vehicles dropped by more than a tenth, having risen 1.5 per cent against the baseline last year.

The figures also revealed waste was down by 28.8 per cent, a figure that is already ahead of targets.

As well as cutting its own operational carbon emissions and boosting sustainability, the government is also trying to achieve the same goals on a national level – it recently passed Climate Act and Energy Act to this end – and on the international level, where it is taking part in EU and UN negotiations on climate change.

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