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Environment Protection: Carbon Emissions

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the expected changes in average annual temperature in the UK by 2050 using a Kyoto commitment as its benchmark (a) if carbon emissions increase by 20 per cent., (b) if carbon emissions remain the same, (c) if carbon emissions decrease by 20 per cent., (d) if carbon emissions decrease by 40 per cent., (e) if carbon emissions decrease by 60 per cent. and (f) if carbon emissions decrease by 80 per cent. (198233)

Estimates by the Met Office Hadley Centre, suggest that the anticipated increased average annual temperature in the UK by 2050, relative to the 1990 temperature level, will be approximately (a) 1.5°C if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions increase by 20 per cent., (b) 1.3°C if GHG emissions remain the same, (c) 1.1°C if GHG emissions decrease by 20 per cent., (d) 1.0°C if GHG emissions decrease by 40 per cent., (e) 0.8°C if GHG emissions decrease by 60 per cent. and (f) 0.6°C if GHG emissions decrease by 80 per cent.

Actual increases in temperature will, however, depend on when emission reductions begin, with later start dates for reductions resulting in a correspondingly larger temperature rises. The above estimates for temperature increases are based on a set of emission reduction pathways beginning during the 2010 to 2030 period.