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Last Updated: Monday, 26 December 2005, 23:59 GMT
Europe 'behind on Kyoto pledges'
Windmill against sunset.  Image: AP/Xinhua
The IPPR wants to see more renewable energy projects
The UK is almost alone in Europe in honouring Kyoto pledges to cut greenhouse gases, a think-tank claims.

Ten of 15 European Union signatories will miss the targets without urgent action, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) found.

The countries include Ireland, Italy and Spain.

France, Greece and Germany are given an "amber warning" and will not reach targets unless they put planned policies into action, the IPPR said.

'Little time left'

Only Sweden and the UK were on course to meet their commitments, the think-tank's study found.

IPPR associate director Tony Grayling commented: "We are nearing the point of no return on climate change.

"We have very little time left to start reducing global greenhouse gas emissions before irreparable damage is done.

"It is vital that EU countries keep their promises to cut pollution," he said.

New phase

European countries needed to take action, including energy saving and investing in renewable energy.

"In the new year, EU countries will need to adopt tougher limits on emissions from power stations and heavy industry, in the second phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme," Mr Grayling said.

Under Kyoto commitments, the European signatories are supposed to cut their emissions to 8% below 1990 levels by 2008-2012.

The Kyoto commitments have been undermined, critics say, because the US - the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases - has refused to ratify the treaty.

An EU body - the European Environment Agency - warned in November that the EU was likely to cut its emissions by only 2.5% by the year 2012 - rather than the 8% the bloc promised.

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