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Last Updated: Friday, 21 October 2005, 00:41 GMT 01:41 UK
Rural homes 'the most polluting'
Leeds city centre
Blocks of flats are more fuel efficient, the figures will show
Rural homes are often twice as polluting as those in towns and cities, new figures will show.

A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) study has found that high-occupancy blocks of flats are more fuel efficient.

Detached houses leak heat and people can afford more gadgets, contributing to the greenhouse effect, it suggests.

The Defra figures will show how much homes in different parts of Britain contribute to the problem.

Emissions rising

The figures released on Friday will show that people running their homes cause just under a third of UK emissions of the main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

The average person emits two to three tonnes of carbon dioxide a year simply by heating and lighting the place they live.

The boom in electrical appliances is making the problem worse.

Defra suggests that smaller dwellings also emit less carbon dioxide because they have less room for second and third televisions.

Government data released in April showed that the UK's emissions of greenhouse gases rose between 2003 and 2004.

The emissions last year were 1.5% above those in 2003, and are now higher than at any time since the Labour government came to power in 1997.

'Good progress'

For the first time, the data also suggested Britain could miss its target set down under the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto treaty commits Britain to keeping annual greenhouse emissions during the period 2008-2012 to 12.5% below 1990 levels.

In 2002, the UK was 14.4% below 1990 levels, and in 2003, 13.4% below.

Provisional figures for 2004 show emissions are 12.6% below - just 0.1% underneath the Kyoto figure.

Opposition politicians and green groups have accused the government of losing control of greenhouse gases.

The government acknowledges the UK needs to work harder to reduce its emissions but says the country has made good progress compared with other nations.

UK could 'miss Kyoto gas target'
01 Apr 05 |  Science/Nature
UK emissions rise 'within target'
22 Mar 05 |  Science/Nature
UK 'climbs down' over climate
11 Mar 05 |  Science/Nature
Q&A: The Kyoto Protocol
16 Feb 05 |  Science/Nature


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