Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How Britain outsources its carbon emissions

The UK has not succeeded in separating economic activity from carbon emissions, contrary to the Government line.

The Low Carbon Kid always suspected that there were hidden emissions due to our reliance on imported goods which do not show up in the official figures. This is because those figures are based on outputs from activities in ths country.

As more services are outsourced and goods imported, so more of these emssions are hidden.

The Energy Review claims that our carbon intensity - total energy used divided by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - is reducing. We are sustaiing economic growth but producing less carbon.

Bullshit. What we should be counting is the emissions from all our activities all over the world.

Now, new research from the Carbon Trust shows that UK consumers use products and services with a combined carbon footprint of 176.4 MtC (million tonnes of carbon per annum).

This is 11.7 MtC greater than the emissions generated by all UK production. Which means that the UK is a net importer of carbon intensive products and services from abroad.

These figures are the ones which should be used to judge whether we are meeting our Kyoto and national carbon targets. We're already 50% behind on the latter. If these figures are factored in we're behind on the former as well.

It's simple common sense.

>>the Carbon Trust

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