UK cuts carbon dioxide emissions

The UK's carbon dioxide emissions fell by 1.5 per cent in 2007, according to official figures published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc).

The final figures for 2007 also revealed that output of all six greenhouse gases, including methane and nitrous oxide, was down 1.7 per cent on 2006 levels.

The greatest CO2 savings were made by homes, which produced 3.8 million tonnes (4.6 per cent) less carbon dioxide, and businesses, which cut their emissions by 2.4 million tonnes (2.6 per cent).

The energy supply sector also managed to cut its emissions.

But there was an increase in emissions from the transport sector of 1.3 million tonnes and an extra 1.2 million tonnes from industrial processes.

According to the statistics published by Decc, the UK's output in 2007 of the six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol, which sets legally-binding targets for countries to cut their emissions, was 21.7 per cent below baseline levels.

This figure is slightly smaller - 18.4 per cent - if it does not include purchasing carbon credits under emissions trading schemes, but still puts the UK well ahead of its target under Kyoto to cut emissions by 12.5 per cent on the base year during 2008-2012.

However, there are more domestic stringent targets, including a goal to cut carbon dioxide output, the gas which makes up the majority of the UK's emissions, by 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010 - which it has long been expected to be missed.

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