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More CO2 cuts needed

The government must do more to drive down CO2 emissions according to a new report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the government’s climate change watchdog.

In its first annual report to Parliament, the CCC said falls in CO2 emissions due to the recession mask a smaller underlying fall. In the five years between 2003 to 2007 inclusive, emissions declined by 0.5% per annum.

Reductions of between 2% and 3% per year will be required if Britain is to meet its target of cutting emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050, it said. The report calls for major improvements in the energy efficiency of homes. It also calls for new financial incentives to ensure renewable heat production targets are met.

Transport emissions could be reduced by higher public transport spending and the development of a comprehensive strategy for the roll out of electric cars. It also proposed a rollout of carbon capture and storage sites and more wind turbines. CCC chair Lord Turner said: “What we have proposed is achievable and affordable but action needs to be taken now if we are to make our contribution to combating climate change.”

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