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Britain's emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, rose by 2.2% in the year 2002-2003, according to new government data just released.
Environmental groups have accused ministers of failing to control greenhouse gas emissions.
Carbon dioxide emissions in 2003 were higher than when Labour came to power.
But the output of other greenhouse gases is falling, meaning that Britain is still on course to meet its Kyoto Protocol targets - just.
One reason behind the rise in emissions was the changing cost of basic fuels; the price of coal fell by 8% during the year, while gas rose by roughly the same amount.
But data also show that emissions from certain sectors - notably housing and transport - have been steadily rising for years.
"In overall terms, the figures are encouraging and put the UK ahead of most developed countries," said environment minister Elliot Morley in a statement.
"It is disappointing that there has been an increase in carbon dioxide emissions."