Shock over CO2 figures for east

CAMPAIGNERS are calling for the Government to get tougher on carbon emissions as shocking new figures show that the average person in the east of England will have produced as much CO2 by today as a typical man or woman in the world's poorest countries will all year.

By John Howard

CAMPAIGNERS are calling for the Government to get tougher on carbon emissions as shocking new figures show that the average person in the east of England will have produced as much CO2 by today as a typical man or woman in the world's poorest countries will all year.

The statistics, released by the World Development Movement (WDM) today, show carbon dioxide emissions by region within the United Kingdom.

In the east a total of 49 million tonnes of CO2 is produced annually and the eastern region, with 5.3 million people, creates as much CO2 as Ecuador and Peru combined, with 40.5 million people.


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The average person in the East of England will produce 8.8 tonnes of CO2 in 2007, compared to the national average of 9.2 tonnes.

The North East has the highest per person production of carbon dioxide, with 13.1 tonnes.

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Campaigners are calling for the Government to include legally binding annual targets to reduce carbon emissions in its new climate change bill.

And they want politicians to halt the planned growth in aviation which will otherwise make it impossible to meet the Government's long-term targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

WDM Director Benedict Southworth said: “The poorest countries in the world, with 738 million people, make effectively no contribution to climate change, but it is those same people who face the worst consequences.

“160,000 people are already dying every year due to climate change related diseases and billions will face drought, floods, starvation and disease.”

Andrew Stringer, a Green Mid Suffolk District councillor, said: “This has been a matter of urgency for a decade or more, successive Governments have seemed very slow.

“I have no doubt that the people of Suffolk want to mitigate against climate change.

“People can do simple things, changes in the way buildings are built, low energy light bulbs, and at the moment a lot of parties are big on rhetoric but slow on delivery.

“We have to get this right, it's urgent. The public are willing. We do have to be careful with figures though, CO2 emissions in a rural area like mid Suffolk are greater because people need their cars.”

According to the WDM by January 10 the average UK citizen will have already emitted as much CO2 as the average Kenyan will in a year.

In sub-Saharan Africa an estimated 375,000 people have already died in the 21st Century due to illness caused by climate change.

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