Report: UK outsources large chunk of carbon emissions
The growing import of goods from abroad instead of manufacturing them here has fuelled an increase in carbon emissions, according to the government's climate change advisers.
Official figures show that Britain's carbon emissions have fallen by around 20% over the last two decades, partly as a result of manufacturing moving overseas. But this data does not include the emissions produced in the making and transportation of goods we import to the UK.
The Committee on Climate Change report found that when emissions 'embedded' in the goods we consume are taken into account, there has actually been a 10% rise since 1993.
The report concludes that official figures should continue to track only the emissions produced within UK borders since this is what other countries do, but that imports should also be monitored.
The Government's outgoing chief scientific advisor has called for urgent action to tackle global warming, warning climate change will bring greater extremes in weather.
Professor Sir John Beddington said the effects of climate change were already being felt in Britain.
"In a sense we have moved from the idea of global warming to the idea of climate change, and that is rather important - yes, indeed, temperatures are increasing, but the thing that is going to happen is that we are going to see much more variability in our weather", Sir John told BBC Breakfast.
"I think you only have to look at the last few years to see how that is actually starting to manifest itself even in the UK", he added.
He said there were "massive problems" in the world of food, water and energy security as the global population increases, all of which would be exacerbated by climate change.
Even if effective action was taken now on global warming, Sir John stressed there would be "significant" climate change over the next 20 to 25 years as results of past global emissions.
Govt calls for report on fracking and carbon emissions
Ed Davey has today commissioned another report on fracking - this time to gauge the risks of increased methane emissions.
“Emissions of methane - which is a potent greenhouse gas - are already subject to control, but I am today commissioning a study of the possible impacts of shale gas development on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change," he said.
Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, Paris' Eiffel Tower, Rome's Vatican and Barcelona's Sagrada Família have joined the WWF's Earth Hour in switching off their lights for an hour to raise awareness of climate change and energy use.