Defra has released new statistics on its climate change agreements (CCAs) which it says show British industry has cut it’s carbon dioxide emissions by 14.4 million tonnes last year, that is more than double the target set by government.

This figure exceeds the minimum signed up under the Climate Change Agreements (CCAs) by 8.9 million. CCAs are ten-year energy - efficiency agreements which give firms an 80% discount on their climate change levy if they meet emissions targets. CCAs are a major part of UK efforts to cut carbon emissions and were forecast to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 8.5 million tonnes by 2010.

The government signed CCAs in 2001 with 44 sectors representing more than 5000 companies operating more than 12,000 individual facilities, including the UK's most energy-intensive manufacturers such as steel, aluminium, cement, chemicals, paper and food and drink producers. The results published show: 14.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions were cut in total 38 out of 42 sectors had all facilities recertified to continue to claim climate change levy discount 98% of sites (10,100) met targets and have had climate change levy discounts renewed continued improvement across all sectors that the steel sector continues to beat targets despite increased output the biggest absolute cuts were achieved by steel, aluminium, cement and chemicals, and these together with the paper and food and drink sectors also made the biggest improvements in energy efficiency.