The UK’s net-zero target is failing to account for emissions from overseas manufacturing of products imported into the country, a figure which a new report from WWF claims accounts for 46% of the UK’s annual carbon footprint. The report, commissioned by WWF and carried out by the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds, and released today (16 April) examined what the UK’s carbon footprint would look like if the manufacturing of imported products was accounted for in UK carbon accounting. The report found that emissions from imported products including clothing, processed foods and electronics would account for 46% of the UK’s carbon footprint. However, these emissions are not covered on national reporting requirements through the UK’s net-zero target. WWF also claims that these products would not be produced if not for UK demand.
Edie 16th April 2020 read more »
The UK’s efforts to cut greenhouse gases are being undermined by a failure to put in place climate policies that cover imported goods, research has found. The government is committed to cutting the UK’s carbon output to net zero by 2050, and emissions have been falling for the past three decades. But that does not take into account the “invisible” side of Britain’s carbon footprint, which comes from international travel and the carbon produced overseas to make goods that are used here. About half of Britain’s true carbon footprint is made up of these sources, according to a report from the conservation charity WWF.
Guardian 16th April 2020 read more »
The government should be more radical and put in place serious policies to fight the climate crisis with the same urgency as it has to coronavirus, voters believe. A new survey by pollsters Opinium found 48 per cent of the public agree that the government should respond “with the same urgency to climate change as it has with Covid-19”, with just 28 per cent saying it shouldn’t. Environmentalists said the polling figures were a “green light” for the government to be more ambitious in tackling the climate crisis and that politicians had not yet caught up with public opinion on the issue. The polling is the latest evidence that public opinion is moving fast towards seriously tackling the crisis, following a surge in attention given in the issue last year amid international protests. The start of 2020 was punctuated with climate-related disasters like forest fires in Australia and major flooding. But activists say the coronavirus has also “created an unrivalled opening” for more radical measures, with old political certainties about the role of the state evaporating overnight. The UK has committed to cutting its carbon output to net zero but its own Committee on Climate Change has warned that its current measures are far from adequate to meet its legal goal.
Independent 15th April 2020 read more »
The UK has been less successful at cutting greenhouse gas emissions than the official record claims as nearly half our carbon footprint now comes from emissions released overseas to produce imported goods, a report has said. Emissions from making products such as clothing, foods and electronics imported into the UK are counted in official statistics as the responsibility of the manufacturing country, not Britain. These “hidden emissions” accounted for 46 per cent of the UK’s overall carbon footprint last year, according to the report by the University of Leeds. The proportion has grown rapidly from 14 per cent in 1990 partly because of the closure of some UK manufacturing and a shift to importing more of the energy-intensive goods consumed here. Between 1990 and 2016 emissions within the UK’s borders fell by 41 per cent but the consumption-based footprint dropped by only 15 per cent, mainly due to imported goods and services.
Times 16th April 2020 read more »