Despite talk of cuts, U.K. carbon emissions on the rise

It’s too bad surging emissions aren’t cause for joy. Because then the Brits would be dancing right now instead of tearing each other new ones. But alas: data show that U.K. carbon emissions rose 1.25 percent last year, to the highest level since the Labor Party took charge in 1997. Environment Secretary David Miliband said the U.K. is still on track to meet or beat its Kyoto goals, but conceded that the figures — fueled largely by a switch from gas to coal power — are “worrying.” Activists were less restrained: “The government dreams up estimates of what its policies can deliver without any external scrutiny; and as soon as there is any external scrutiny, they turn out to be dreams,” said Friends of the Earth’s Mike Childs. Keith Allott of the U.K. World Wildlife Fund — which put out its own study showing that U.K. power-plant emissions are up 30 percent since 1999 — called the revelations “a disgrace for Britain.” Here’s a tip from the U.S. of A.: Lower your expectations! Works every time.