CO2 levels 'are highest since 1997'

A A A

Carbon dioxide emissions have risen to their highest level since Labour came to power, a Friends of the Earth analysis of the Government's latest energy figures has found.

The official energy consumption figures for the first six months of 2006 are 2.1 per cent higher than the same period last year. A spokesman for the environmental campaigners warned that if this trend is reflected in the second half of the year, carbon dioxide levels will be approximately 4.4 per cent higher than in 1997. The Government is also being accused by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders of dragging its heels over funding for new technology that could help cut the CO2 emissions from cars.

In a submission to a cross-party Commons committee, the car-makers and dealers said they were "frustrated at the disjointed nature of grant funding for clean vehicles and fuels" in the Department for Transport's energy programme.

They said the programme had been "replaced with uncertainty and market disruption as further potential CO2 savings have been lost". They added that the Government had failed to respond to the European Commission, which had cleared the path for Britain to provide more funding for clean-car technology by deciding that it did not breach state aid rules.

Tony Blair was elected on a manifesto promise of significant cuts in carbon dioxide. The latest evidence increases the pressure for tougher action by the Prime Minister and his expected successor, Gordon Brown. Some Labour MPs are ready to vote against Mr Brown, if there is a leadership contest, because of his record on climate change.

More than 400 MPs have signed a Commons motion calling for a law requiring annual cuts in UK emissions. The call is also backed by all the main opposition parties. Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, said: "There is now a huge cross-party consensus on the need for urgent action. Ministers must get a grip on the problem."

Friends of the Earth is in the Stop Climate Chaos coalition which launched the "I Count" campaign last week urging people to support it by texting "I Count" to 84424. The coalition has called a mass rally at Trafalgar Square, on Saturday 4 November, on the eve of international climate-change talks in Nairobi.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

£12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders