UK fares badly in carbon efficiency ratings

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British people are among the most wasteful and polluting out of any populace on the plant, a new report reveals.

A study from Friends of the Earth and the thinktank New Economics Foundation (NEF) showed that Brits have the fourth largest carbon footprint - determined by the amount of fossil fuels we each use - out of 30 leading nations.

The Happy Living Index also measured well-being measures such as life expectancy and life satisfaction - and the UK only managed to come in 21st place, behind the majority of its European competitors.

Only transition economies such as Portugal, Greece, and Luxembourg fared worse in the rankings.

"Countries that have most closely followed the Anglo-Saxon, strongly market-led economic model show up as the least efficient," said Andrew Simms, the NEF's policy director and head of the climate change programme.

"These findings question what the economy is there for. What is the point if we burn vast quantities of fossil fuels to make, buy and consume ever more stuff, without noticeably benefiting our well-being?

"We know that someone is just as likely to have high life satisfaction while living within their environmental means, as someone who recklessly over-consumes. So, what is preventing us from radically changing direction, and reaping the benefits?

"If Europe doesn't lead, India, China and Brazil will not follow," Mr Simms concluded.

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