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Govt 'failing to set example' on carbon emissions

Carbon emission reduction targets are unlikely to be met by the government on current progress, a report finds.

The Sustainable Development Commission's annual assessment of the government's progress notes emissions are down four per cent on 1999/2000 levels.

But it warns individual departments are "still not on track" to meet the 12.5 per cent target by 2010/11.

"Radical and urgent" steps are now required, the report says. These include progressive budget cuts for energy and utilities budgets and a central invest-to-save fund to finance capital investments in sustainable development.

The commission's vice-chairperson, Rebecca Willis, said: "These targets must be the first step in a journey towards much greater sustainability; yet progress to date has been far too slow."

The government has announced plans to establish a new Centre of Expertise for Sustainable Procurement in response to the report.

Environment secretary Hilary Benn said: "In the year that has elapsed since the period covered by this report, departments have been working to cut emissions, waste and water use and to increase recycling levels."

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