Environmental minister Eliott Morley has admitted the UK is only on target to cut emissions by 11% by 2010, just over half of the 20% objective.

Increasing reliance on coal-generated energy combined with slackening government support for renewable energy and housing efficiency measures have caused progress towards the aim to flounder.

Keith Taylor, Green Party Principal Speaker, comments: "This is the first time the Government has admitted just how dire the state of emissions reductions are, but the concession has failed to bring with it any promise of change. By failing to meet the objective a disastrous precedent will be set for the success of further climate change measures.

"The Government's priorities are seriously skewed. 33% of energy comes from coal-fired power stations, which produce the most emissions of all types of energy generation. The Government cites power from coal as the most cost-effective means of generating energy, given high gas prices, but the amount of carbon generated by coal energy is enough to counteract all other measures to reduce emissions.

"Targets to have 10% of energy coming from renewable sources by 2010 are also failing, the amount now a paltry 3%, and housing efficiency standards have been watered down as well. Climate change is a pressing and urgent issue, but Government priorities unacceptably fail to reflect this.

"The Government claims to be interested in renewable energy, but funding cuts have effectively starved advances in wind, solar and combined heating and power units. Meanwhile coal is increasing our global burden and excessive attention and financial resources are given to the polluting and dangerous nuclear energy program. Any hope for a future of reduced carbon emissions must devote serious attention to renewable energy.

"The Government need joined-up thinking that recognises it's not focus groups and press releases that reduce carbon emissions. It's tough targets and tighter regulation that's needed.


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