The United Nations (UN) has labelled Britain's policies for combating climate change as half-hearted and ineffectual.
The UN's Human Development report cited the upward trend in emissions from the country's energy and transport sectors and the lack of progress in developing renewable energy sources.
It added that global temperatures would rise by up to 5 degrees C if other developed countries followed Britain's lead.
The report said that 'radical new policies' such as carbon taxes and higher vehicle excise duty for gas-guzzling cars were needed if the UK was to meet its target of cutting CO2 emissions by 26 to 32 per cent by 2020.
Although the government was praised for its "bold and innovative" climate change bill, the UN raised "serious questions" about the level of ambition and capacity to meet CO2 reduction targets.
The UN also said that the UK "lags far behind best EU practice" on renewable energy.
Source: Energy Saving Trust