Official statistics claim that UK emissions have fallen. But they haven’t: when you account for the carbon in our imports, they’ve gone up by 20% in twenty years – and are set to rise further. The Government is staying quiet about these outsourced emissions – after all, it’s failed to take responsibility for the environmental impacts of UK consumption. PIRC wants this to change, and our ongoing investigation is detailed on these pages.
PIRC’s Co-Director Guy Shrubsole has given evidence before a Parliamentary Select Committee on the subject of outsourced emissions. A video of the session held by the Energy and Climate Change (ECC) Committee can be viewed here. A transcript of the session can be read here.
Professor John Barrett from Leeds University has written a great take-down of the Government’s latest claims to have cut Britain’s carbon footprint. Barrett should know: he’s authored many of Defra’s own papers into the subject of outsourced emissions.
PIRC has submitted written evidence to the Energy and Climate Change (ECC) Committee’s inquiry into consumption-based emissions reporting. You can read our submission online here.
PIRC has produced a briefing paper – Outsourced emissions and global trade in the green economy – for the Global Transition Dialogues, a set of high-level debates being organised in the run-up to the Rio+20 Earth Summit. The paper was commissioned by Stakeholder Forum and can be downloaded as a PDF here.
MPs have stepped up the pressure on government Ministers to take responsibility for the UK’s outsourced carbon emissions, in a series of developments today.
This morning, the parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) published its report on carbon budgets, calling on government to review its current method of reporting emissions, and instead report on the total emissions resulting from our consumption.
You almost certainly won’t have spotted the publication of Defra’s new set of statistics on agriculture and climate change yesterday. But before you nod off, check out this clever piece of spin by the statisticians.
This piece was originally published on Left Foot Forward.
The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) is the UK government’s independent advisor on greenhouse gas emissions. Yet at present it is being prevented from investigating the ongoing rise in UK emissions.
As Left Foot Forward reported earlier this year, the UK’s carbon emissions continue to rise when viewed from a consumption perspective: domestic emissions are down, but our lifestyles are as dependent on carbon as ever, as can be seen once you factor in imported goods and services.
In an interview in today”s Guardian, DECC Minister Greg Barker has finally come clean about the need to tackle outsourced emissions:
“The big shift in thinking on climate change policy is a recognition that we need to rebalance our economy. But decarbonisation must not mean de-industrialisation,” he said. “On the contrary, we actually need to build an economy that has more advanced manufacturing where we stop just reducing our carbon emissions by sending stuff offshore to less regulated markets and actually see the energy challenge of the next two decades as a real opportunity to see more advanced manufacturing here in the UK, importing less and looking to successful advanced economies like Germany as the way forward rather than thinking we can simply be ever more dependent on the services sector.”
All well and good, but where”s the beef? What”s DECC actually doing to ensure we stop outsourcing pollution, and start tackling high-carbon consumption?
PIRC has submitted written evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC)’s inquiry into carbon budgets. We suggest to the EAC that existing carbon budgets fail to account for outsourced emissions, and that this demands immediate attention by the Government.
You can read our submission online here or download a PDF copy here.