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6.11.4. The UK Programme

The first UK national strategy, in response to the Framework Convention, aimed to stabilise CO2 emissions at 1990 levels by 2000. As a consequence of the Kyoto Protocol, the UK is now committed to a 12% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2008 to 2012 (as part of a Europe-wide 8% reduction) from 1990 levels. Within the latest UK Programme for greenhouse gas emission reduction, the current Government has proposed that a full 20% reduction in CO2 emissions can be achieved by 2010. The emission of CO2 over the next 10 to 15 years will be a function of the development of the UK economy, the demand for goods and services, population increase and the strategies and policies adopted by government. The UK Programme focuses on the need to reduce CO2 emissions, the main greenhouse gas, although this does not detract from measures formulated to reduce other greenhouse gases (DoE, 1994). A range of measures aimed at all sectors of the population has been identified including legislation, economic instruments, regulation, information and education.

The emissions of CO2 from various end user categories (Table 6.10) in the UK in 1990 totalled 158 million tonnes (MtC). Latest energy projections indicate that CO2 emissions will be 4-8% lower by the beginning of the 21st century than those of 1990 (Dti, 1995).

Table 6.10. Emissions of CO2 by final energy user in the UK in 1990 (DoE, 1994).

End User

Mt C

Industry

48

Domestic

42

Road Transport

33

Commercial

13

Public Service

10

Other Transport

5

Other Emissions

4

Agriculture

2

Exports

1

TOTAL

158

The volume of CO2 emitted is directly related to the type of fuel used and the amount of energy consumed, thus any reduction in CO2 emissions will be dependent on 1) using less carbon intensive fuels, 2) improving the production and delivery of energy, and 3) utilising energy more efficiently.