Climate Change: Carbon Dioxide Emissions

House of Lords written question – answered on 29th September 2008.

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Photo of Lord Berkeley Lord Berkeley Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What was the change between 1992 and 2004 in carbon dioxide emissions associated with United Kingdom consumption of goods and services, including imports, exports and international transportation.

Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare), Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

A recent report, funded by Defra, estimated that between 1992 and 2004 worldwide carbon dioxide emissions associated with UK consumption of goods and services (including international transportation) rose by about 115 million tonnes, or roughly 18 per cent, from about 647 million tonnes in 1992 to about 762 million tonnes in 2004. This has resulted chiefly from an increase in the total volume and diversity of products and services being consumed, and from a movement of manufacturing from the UK to countries where manufacturing is more carbon-intensive.

As agreed internationally at UN level, the UK reports on, and is responsible for, greenhouse gas emissions occurring within its territory. By this measure, UK emissions of all greenhouse gases fell by roughly 16 per cent between 1990 and 2006 and carbon dioxide emissions fell by about 6 cent.

The UK has no direct influence over emissions occurring beyond its territory, and cutting trade with more carbon-intensive (often poorer) economies would have serious, mutual impacts on economic growth.

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