UK responsible for 15 per cent of world emissions

19th February 2007
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A new report suggests that the UK is responsible for 15 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions, not 2 per cent as the government claims.

Research by the development charity Christian Aid shows that only sixteen of Britain’s top one hundred biggest companies are declaring the full extent of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by their worldwide activities. As a result, the report’s authors estimate that almost 200 million tonnes is unaccounted for in the official records.

The report accuses Tony Blair, who consistently argues that Britain is responsible for ‘only’ 2 per cent of global emissions, of ‘seeking to make light of our responsibility to clear up the mess’.

Andrew Pendleton, lead author of the report, said:
“Our research reveals a truly staggering quantity of unreported carbon dioxide is emitted around the world by the top 100 companies on the London Stock Exchange. And we don’t even know the extent of the emissions of many of the biggest companies.”

Pendleton added that this research had uncovered merely ‘the tip of the iceberg’, and estimated that the real extent of the UK’s hidden emissions was likely to be in the region of billions, rather than millions, of tonnes of CO2.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist February 2007

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