The UK will struggle to hit its 2010 target for reducing carbon emissions, the environment secretary said today. While the country is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by almost double its Kyoto target, David Miliband said the domestic goal of cutting CO2 emissions by 20% on 1990 levels "looked increasingly difficult to achieve".

Figures released by the government show that in 2005 emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated compounds were 15.3% below 1990 levels, compared with a Kyoto target of 12.5% by 2010.,,2002940,00.html

But, figures published today (31 January) show that the UK is on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to almost double its Kyoto target. The figures, which are the final figures for 2005, show that our greenhouse gas emissions are 15.3% below 1990 levels. When the effect of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is taken into account, our emissions are 18.8% below 1990 levels. Our Kyoto commitment is to reduce UK greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.

Environment Secretary David Miliband said: “With emissions trading, we will almost double our Kyoto target, with an estimated 23.6% reduction in greenhouse gases on 1990 levels by 2010.” Mr Miliband said that though the greenhouse gas figures continued the downward trend, the 2010 domestic goal, to cut CO2 emissions by 20% on 1990 levels, looked increasingly difficult to achieve.

“The 2010 goal was always designed to be stretching. We are making definite progress towards it, and the projected 16.2% reduction is testimony to that progress,” he said.