So a cut of 50% based on 1990s emissions by 2027, that’s 16 years from now.
The graph shows the emissions reductions as we approach the 2020 target of a 20% reduction, the provisional figures for 2010 are almost certainly due to the recession which will be replicated in 2011.
But, I do wonder how much of these emissions reductions are due to the export of industry to China and how much to increased efficiency and the use of renewable energy.
Certainly, while we have boosted the numbers of wind turbines and solar panels, these only represent perhaps 1 or 2 % of generated electricity, the headline figures of a 100MW wind farm realistically equating to maybe 20MW actually generated. Solar panels don’t yet make much of an impact.
What is clear is that the emissions reductions are almost certainly down to the shifting of industry to other countries, potentially with a higher level of emissions due to lowered efficiency.
Where the consumption of lets say a “tyre” for a car might have cost .2 tonnes of carbon where it was made in the UK, that tyre made in China and with the electricity generated from a coal power plant, equates to .3 tonnes, then it has to be shipped round the world (though perhaps we have saved some of the raw material shipping costs?).
So, there is more carbon in the form of CO2 generated but Britain claims a reduction!
Its the same as carbon offsetting or perhaps nearer the knuckle, getting somebody to accept a speeding fine so you can retain a clean licence?
To have any chance of showing an honest reduction in CO2, the 1st thing DECC needs to do is totally review the way Britain’s contribution to Global CO2 production is counted. Not based on what is generated in the UK, but what is gereated as a result of UK consumption of goods and services.
On the plus side this means we can remove the carbon associated with exports, but add those associated with imports. What about shipping and international travel ?
Do an honest measure and we might find that CO2 production that is attributed to the UK has gone up since 1990. I think this is the more likely outcome.