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Commission Announcement On Climate Change Alarming Says Euro-MP

June 21, 2005 1:03 PM

European Commission figures due to be released today are expected to reveal that greenhouse gas emissions have INCREASED across the EU by 1.3% over the past year.

Under the Kyoto agreement the EU is supposed to make an 8% reduction on 1990 levels by the 2008-12 period. Overall emissions are so far down marginally but the new figures suggest that the trend is in the opposite direction. Some member states have recorded spectacular increases in emissions.

The Commission is expected to confirm that UK emissions increased by 1.1% over the past year. Due to a reduction in coal use the UK has still reduced emissions by 13.3% since 1990 against a target of -12.5% but the situation is now worsening.

West Midlands Liberal Democrat Euro-MP Liz Lynne, commented:

"These figures are very worrying and put in doubt the EU's commitment to fighting climate change. Instead of moving forward we seem to be stuck in reverse.

"Europe has given leadership to the world on this issue but a degree of complacency is now all too evident. EU heads of government need to stop wringing their hands and start making tough choices."

The news comes as the UK aviation industry announced that at long last they are proposing new targets to reduce the environmental impact of air travel.

"One of the major causes of the increase in CO2 emissions is the dramatic rise in air travel. If the aviation industry and the government were serious about reducing the environmental impact of flying, they would scrap plans for airport expansion.

"The white paper makes a mockery of the Government's targets on carbon dioxide emissions. It is time they reformed aviation taxation to support cleaner fuels and more efficient aircraft. Aviation fuel should be taxed in the same way as other fuels throughout the EU and subject to the Kyoto Protocol."