The hypocrisy of Blair’s government on climate change is all too evident again. On the one hand it has emerged that Blair has failed to tackle UK greenhouse gas emissions that are now at the highest level since Labour came to power.

On the other Blair continues to warn others that we must act. Last Friday, he issued a strong warning to the EU that it had to act decisively to tackle climate change.

“We have a window of only 10 to 15 years to take the steps we need to avoid crossing catastrophic tipping points,” he wrote in a joint letter to EU leaders with his Dutch counterpart, Jan Peter Balkenende. “These would have serious consequences for our economic growth prospects, the safety of our people and the supply of resources, most notably energy. So we must act quickly.”

But the UK is certainly not acting quickly. Emissions of carbon dioxide in the first six months of the year were 2.1% higher than during the same period in 2005, partly because of increased energy use as a whole and partly because of a hike in coal burning due to higher gas prices.

“It’s astonishing that despite all the government’s promises, UK carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise and are higher than when Labour came to power in 1997,” said Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth who compiled the carbon dioxide figures.