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UK carbon emissions fall to lowest level since 1890

Nathan Mann our consultant managing the role
Posted by Nathan Mann
Published on 7 March 2018

Recent findings from Carbon Brief show that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in the UK fell by 2.6% in 2017.

Having analysed energy use figures from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Carbon Brief has found that the UK’s total CO2 emissions are now as low they were as in 1890.

Overall CO2 emissions have declined faster in the UK over the last two decades than in almost any other large economy. Emissions have decreased steadily every year since 2012 and this has been driven by decline coal use and natural gas use. Declining by almost 75% between 2014 – 2017, coal accounts for only 5.3% of total primary energy consumed in the UK, down from 22% in 1995.

There was a 19% decline in coal use in the UK in 2017, following the 52% drop in 2016 that saw a decline in total emissions of 5.8%. The government has pledged to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025.

CO2 emissions are currently around 38% below 1990 levels. With the target of achieving 80% reductions by 2050, levels still need to reduce by 68% to achieve this.  

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