Britain’s Carbon Footprint Has Grown since 1990

Professor Bob Watson, Chief Scientist at Defra, will state that Britain’s carbon footprint has grown, not shrunk, since 1990, in a BBC Radio 4 documentary next Monday (6th September). Professor Watson will say that calculations taking into account the carbon embedded in products which Britain imports, from countries such as China and India, reveal that Britain’s emissions have grown by 12%, not declined by 15-16% as current accounting proceedures show. Under the current system of counting emissions, greenhouse gases generated in the manufacture of goods are assessed in the country of production, not consumption.

A spokesman from the Department for Energy and Climate Change said “Our position is that greenhouse gas emissions have been cut by 22% since 1990. While some emission reductions have resulted from the trend for manufacturing to move overseas, international rules state that emissions from manufacturing are counted by the country of production”.

In the documentary, ‘Uncertain Climate’, Prof. Watson will urge the Government to ‘be more open’ about the carbon accounting proceedure and what the emission reduction figures do and do not cover.

Original Source: Joel Taylor, Metro, 3 September