THE European Court in Luxembourg has upheld the UK's right to emit 20m more tonnes of CO2 under the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) than initially agreed.

The decision has been condemned by Greens and environmentalists. Euro-MP Caroline Lucas, who was involved in drafting the ETS, said: “This ruling is a blow to the EU’s efforts to tackle climate change – and delivers the knockout to Tony Blair’s claim’s to exercise global leadership on tackling climate change during the UK’s presidency of the EU.

“Not only has the UK successfully undermined the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, as we have seen today, it has failed to fully implement EU directives on reducing emissions, and its CO2 emissions are on the rise for the third successive year.” The Green MEP for South-East England added: “If Tony Blair hopes to salvage an ounce of credibility on climate change he must ensure world leaders meeting in Montreal next week agree on a successor treaty to Kyoto based on binding – rather than voluntary – targets, and he must rule out nuclear power once and for all.”