But country will miss 20% reduction targets, Government admits

UK CO² emissions were 543.7m tonnes in 2007, figures released today by the Government show.

The number is around 2% lower than 2006, when 554.5m tonnes were released. Total greenhouse gas emissions for 2007 were 693.4m tonnes, 2% less than 2006 figure of 652.3m tonnes in 2006.

Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for the Environment, said that the UK would manage to meet Kyoto Targets by 12.5% against 1990 levels but fail to achieve the 20% targets its set itself for 2010. The figures would be more like 15.5% reductions by 2010 and 26% by 2020, officials say.

Green campaigners were critical of the findings: "This report makes for sorry reading," Friends of the Earth Climate campaigner, Martyn Williams, said. "The Government has clearly failed to take the action needed to meet its own targets for cutting the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions. This unhappy situation is made even worse by the fact that these targets are out of date and massively underestimate the overall level of cuts that is needed. "