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31 January 2008

Government hides carbon emissions with creative accounting

New government figures released today that suggest UK carbon emissions are down by 12 per cent are ‘pure fiction, aided by Enron-esque accounting’ say the World Development Movement.

The government has announced that UK carbon emissions have fallen by 12 per cent since 1990. But this figure has been manipulated to include carbon credits, and does not count emissions from aviation. According to the World Development Movement UK carbon emissions have only fallen by three per cent since 1990.

Benedict Southworth, director of the World Development Movement said: “Today’s figures have been manipulated to include supposed reductions that have taken place outside the UK. The government has wished away a significant chunk of carbon emissions from their calculations. If they are genuinely committed to tackling climate change, this kind of Enron-esque accountancy fiddle, simply cannot continue.”

The government is claiming that the UK’s carbon emissions have fallen, but in fact emissions have risen by three per cent since Labour came into power in 1997.

Benedict Southworth continued: “The government must stop cooking the books and start cutting carbon emissions in the UK, as well as encouraging cuts around the world, if they are not to be known as the biggest ‘greenwashers’ of all.”

The World Development Movement graph above based on DEFRA’s figures demonstrates the difference in the emissions reductions claimed by the government, and the actual emissions from the UK since 1990.

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