The report says that these emissions account for 46% of the UK’s carbon footprint yet are not currently covered by national reporting or included in the UK’s net-zero target.
Between 1990 and 2016 emissions within the UK’s borders reduced by 41% but the consumption-based footprint only dropped 15%, mainly due to goods and services coming from abroad.
The WWF report, Carbon Footprint: Exploring the UK’s contribution to climate change, highlights the importance of addressing carbon-intensive imports such as animal feed and fossil fuels, which fuel our cars and heat our homes
Dr Stephen Cornelius, chief climate change adviser at WWF, said: ‘Climate change is a global problem that needs a global solution. The UK has committed to net zero emissions and a credible plan to achieve this is one that tackles emissions based on what we consume, as well as what we produce.
‘We need to be honest about our emissions – that means tackling those in the goods and services we buy in, not just the ones we make here. As an influential nation which has shown it can act as a global leader on climate change before, we have the ability to take responsibility for emissions that are down to UK demand alone.’
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