The British government insisted Monday that the country was on track to meet Kyoto Protocol targets, despite new figures showing that carbon dioxide emissions rose in recent years.
LONDON The British government insisted Monday that the country was on track to meet Kyoto Protocol targets, despite new figures showing that carbon dioxide emissions rose in recent years.
Environment Minister Elliot Morley said the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs statistics, which indicated that carbon dioxide emissions rose 2.2 percent in 2003, were disappointing.
The increased emissions were blamed on more coal being burnt for electricity in 2003.
But Morley said the long-term emission trend was downward, and Britain remained on track to meet Kyoto targets to have carbon dioxide levels 12.5 percent lower in 2010 than they were in 1990.
The figures showed that between 1990 and 2003 carbon dioxide emissions had fallen by 5.6 percent.
"In overall terms, the figures are encouraging and put the U.K. ahead of most developed countries," Morley said.
"It is disappointing that there has been an increase in carbon dioxide emissions, and this will inform the government's current discussions on what needs to be done between 2005 and 2010 to meet our more ambitious domestic targets," Morley said.
"Figures will, however, vary from year to year. It is important to get a downward trend."
Britain, which has made climate change a top priority as it takes presidency of the G8 group of the world's wealthy nations and the European Union this year, is planning to implement a more ambitious program than the Kyoto target _ aiming for a 20 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2010.
Source: Associated Press