Fossil Free

Imports lead to huge rise in UK carbon emissions

26th May 2013

Responding to a new report today (Tuesday 23 April 2013) from the Committee on Climate Change estimating that the UK’s carbon footprint has grown by more than 10 per cent over the last two decades due to a rise in imports, Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner Guy Shrubsole said:     “Ministers must come clean about our carbon emissions – it’s no good pretending they’re falling, when UK imports have actually caused them to rise.

“This reveals the truth behind attempts to blame countries like China for climate change, when a significant proportion of their emissions are produced in order to maintain our quality of life.

“UK climate targets must take account of the carbon footprint of imported products – and the Government must develop an action plan to tackle it.”


For press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.


Notes to editors:

1. The full report is available from the CCC’s .

2. The UK’s carbon footprint consists of: production emissions from burning fossil fuels for electricity generation, in transport  including aviation and shipping, and industrial production; direct emissions from heating in households and businesses, as well as emissions related to a number of other activities such as agricultural, forestry, and waste management activities; and imported emissions (embedded in our consumption of imported goods and services).

3. For a useful introduction to how the UK’s emissions are still rising because of imports, see this  launched last week by the Public Interest Research Centre.