Carbon emissions 'on target', says government

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The government remains on target to meet carbon emission reductions, Energy and Climate Change minister Baroness Verma told the Lords on 11 June 2013.

She said "domestically, the UK has committed to achieve at least an 80% cut in carbon emissions by 2050" and added: "This government plans to be one of the greenest governments."

However she acknowledged that for the first time in some parts of the world, carbon dioxide briefly reached 400 parts per million in the atmosphere, in 2013.

Daily CO2 readings at a US government agency lab on Hawaii topped 400 parts per million for the first time in May 2013.

Carbon dioxide is regarded as the most important of the manmade greenhouse gases blamed for raising the temperature on the planet over recent decades.

Human sources come principally from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas.

Plaid Cymru's Lord Wigley said the last time this level was reached was three million years ago when the Arctic was free of ice.

Conservative former foreign office minister Lord Howell of Guildford said the UK could get C02 emissions down, after the recession, by concentrating in the medium and short term by developing the "gas economy as rapidly as possible" to encourage economic growth.

A range of topics were also covered, including small businesses' cash flow, PSHE in schools, and homelessness.

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