Despite the emergence of regional climate policies, growth in global CO2 emissions has remained strong. From 1990 to 2008 CO2 emissions in developed countries (defined as countries with emission-reduction commitments in the Kyoto Protocol, Annex B) have stabilized, but emissions in developing countries (non-Annex B) have doubled.

The UK appears to be a leading country in curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Unlike many other developed countries, it has already met its Kyoto obligations and defined ambitious, legally binding targets for the future. Recently this achievement has been called into question as it ignores rapidly changing patterns of production and international trade.