Climate change targets 'will be missed'

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The Government is likely to miss its targets on tackling climate change, according to the Prime Minister's advisers on the environment.

The Government is likely to miss its targets on tackling climate change, according to the Prime Minister's advisers on the environment.

A draft reportsays the Government will fail to cut carbon dioxide emissions by its target of 20 per cent by 2010 unless urgent action is taken. The Government has always insisted it will meet the target.

The confidential report, seen by The Independent, says the climate change programme will not work because the Government's figures are over-optimistic and do not take account of the increased use of coal by power stations. "On current projections, it is difficult to see how the Government's own CO 2 target can be met with current policies," says the report, which is due to be published next month.

The audit was compiled by Jonathon Porritt's Sustainable Development Commission, which was set up by Tony Blair and reports to him and John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister."Our results suggest that both the Government's energy-related emissions baseline is likely to be too optimistic and the policies within the climate change programme will not realise all their projected emission reductions," the report says.

A dispute has broken out between government departments on the paper's conclusions, and how to deal with it when it is published. Some spin doctors believe the Government should admit they will not meet the key target before the report is published.

Senior officials in the Department of the Environment privately blame the Department of Transport for the failure on CO 2 emissions. They want tougher controls on car pollution, a major factor in global warming, to be introduced in the revised transport plan.

The DTI will try to get the programme back on track with the impending energy White Paper, which will announce more support for renewable energy and announce no new nuclear power stations.

The report predicts that the Government will meet the Kyoto climate change target, but is likely to miss its own more ambitious target of cutting emissions by 20 per cent by 2010 or the target to have 10 per cent of electricity produced from renewable energy sources by the same date.

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