Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10/23/green_u_turn/

Government plots escape from renewable energy targets

As CO2 build-up accelerates

By Lucy Sherriff

Posted in Science, 23rd October 2007 11:01 GMT

Government ministers are trying to find a way to wriggle out of the Britain's commitment to derive a significant portion of its energy from renewable sources, according to The Guardian.

The newspaper cites a "leaked report", which The Register has not seen, in which trade minister John Hutton advises the Prime Minister on how best to persuade the European Parliament to reduce the targets, or allow nations to miss the targets they have already signed up to. He advocates joining forces with nations such as Poland, who are already sceptical about renewable energy.

Ex-prime minister Tony Blair committed Britain to source 20 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. This summer, leaked documents showed that civil servants had advised the top brass that these targets were out of reach. The best Britain could hope for was to reach nine per cent, they said, less than half of what it promised.

Now, according to The Guardian, the government is moving ahead with plans to welch on the deal. The leaked report argues that meeting the target will be too expensive, and that there are "severe practical difficulties".

The news comes as a study suggests that carbon dioxide is building up in the atmosphere faster than expected.

The research, which is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that since 2000, the rate at which CO2 is being pumped into the atmosphere is roughly 35 per cent greater than climate modellers thought.

You can read more on the leaked report here, in The Guardian. ®