The UK has acknowledged that it will not meet its aspirational target for emissions reductions to hit 20% of 1990 levels by 2010.

Instead, the Climate Change Programme review launched by the government projects that new and existing policies will deliver a cut of 15-18% by the end of the decade. While this still exceeds the 12.5% requirement set out in the Kyoto Protocol, it is considerably short of expactations.

Environment secretary Margaret Beckett said the government was not giving up on meeting the 20% goal, but said more had to be done to reach it. Beckett blamed higher than anticipated levels of economic growth and recent rises in global energy prices, which have boosted coal-fired generation, for the failure.

Total UK carbon dioxide emissions for 2004 hit 153 million tonnes.