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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

05 May 2009 09:05:08

UK government failing its own emissions targets

UK government failing its own emissions targets
Government departments in the UK are falling behind in efforts to record a 12.5 percent reduction in their carbon emissions by 2011 to 2012.

That is according to a report from the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC), which welcomed the progress made in cutting waste, water consumption and road travel emissions, but warned that much more must be done.

The sustainability watchdog said that carbon emissions from government offices had been reduced by 6.3 percent since 1999 to 2000 - only half of the total reduction required within the next two to three years.

However, its annual report found that recent initiatives, such as the creation of a Centre of Expertise in Sustainable Procurement (CESP) last year, have laid the foundation for a greater reduction in public sector emissions in the future.

Rebecca Willis, vice chair of the SDC, urged the government to bring future targets in line with "real world" priorities and make them reflective of the pressing need to address environmental issues.

"Our understanding of climate science has advanced considerably in recent years; as has our understanding of the management of resources including water and biodiversity," she said.

"The government understands the urgent need to tackle climate change and the necessity of living within environmental limits."

The CESP, which is run by the Office of Government Commerce, was established to provide central coordination of departmental efforts to improve the sustainability of their performance and procurement operations.



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