British greenhouse gases rise for first time since 2003

A A A

There was a significant increase in UK greenhouse gases in 2010 for the first time in several years, Government figures confirmed yesterday.

Emissions of the basket of carbon dioxide (CO2) and five other greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto protocol, the international climate-change treaty, were more than 3 per cent higher that year than in 2009, according to final data released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Emissions of CO2 itself, the principal greenhouse gas, were almost 4 per cent higher.

The rise contrasted with a drop in 2009 of nearly 10 per cent, when emissions fell because of the recession.

The new spike is attributed largely to an increase in the amount of gas used to heat homes in the very cold weather at the beginning and end of 2010. Emissions from the residential sector rose by almost 15 per cent, the figures showed.

Total UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 were estimated to be 590.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), which was 3.1 per cent higher than the 2009 figure of 572.5 million tonnes. These figures are slightly worse than the provisional estimates for 2010 which were published last April.

"Emissions were up in 2010 because of the exceptionally cold weather and greater use of fossil fuels," the newly appointed Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said yesterday.

"One year won't knock the UK off meeting its long-term emission reduction targets, but it serves to underline the importance of the Coalition's policies for insulating homes to cut bills and emissions and moving to greener alternative forms of energy."

But green groups said the figures represented a sign that the Government should increase its efforts to curb CO2. "If the Government ever needed a wake-up call on greenhouse-gas emissions, here it is," Keith Allott, head of climate change at WWF-UK, said.

"In particular it is alarming to see emissions from homes rising when people are struggling to pay their energy bills. The Government must ensure that its policies on energy efficiency deliver at scale to reduce emissions and protect consumers."

He added: "The UK's over-reliance on gas has pushed up emissions along with people's energy bills.

"It's a clear sign that the Government needs to back investors in renewable energy and get us off the fossil fuel hook once and for all."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent