Good news on carbon dioxide emissions released today by the UK Chemical Industries Association isn't necessarily good news for the environment.
Good news on carbon dioxide emissions released today by the UK Chemical Industries Association isn’t necessarily good news for the environment, warn environmentalists. Focussing on the chemical industry overlooks a rapidly growing threat from our homes and cars, says Russell Marsh, head of policy at environmental group Green Alliance.
The CIA reports that the chemical sector has exceeded its own 2004 climate change agreement target. The sector has improved its energy efficiency by 19.5 per cent since 1998, equivalent to an annual saving of around 3.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
The figures show that the chemical sector has succeeded in reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency, agreed Marsh. What they don’t reflect, he said, is the continuing exponential growth in carbon dioxide emissions from domestic homes and, in particular, the transport sector.
Which is not to exonerate the chemical industry altogether, he adds: ’If [the chemical sector] was able to exceed its targets, it might not have set them as high as it should have.’
Nevertheless Marsh ’has some sympathy’ with the chemical sector, which is routinely held responsible for all increases in carbon emissions. The spotlight must now fall on the domestic and transport sectors, he urges.Whether these latest figures from the chemical industry represent, as one CIA spokesman claimed, ’a win for the environment,’ remains contentious. Bea Perks