Climate Action

UK greenhouse gas emissions fell by 3% in 2018

Greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 3 per cent in the UK, finds provisional statistics released by the Government today.

  • 28 March 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

Greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 3 per cent in the UK, finds provisional statistics released by the Government today. 

Between 2017 and 2018, greenhouse gas emissions fell by 3 per cent in the UK, compared to a 44 per cent decrease between 1998 and 2018. Carbon emissions fell by 2 per cent within the same time period.

The report found that the energy supply sector experienced the largest reduction in carbon emissions from 2017-2018, declining 7 per cent. It highlighted how a decrease in coal use has contributed to this reduction in emissions.

At the beginning of the week, the International Environment Agency (IEA) released a report which found that global carbon emissions had risen 1.7 per cent in 2018. They also found that the use of coal had increased.

Coal use in the UK has seen a massive decrease over the last few years, with the last remaining coal plants intending to shut down by 2025. Globally, coal use is slightly different with developing Asia seeing a sudden rise in the production of new plants.

The report also highlighted the impact of the transport sector on emissions, in 2018, an estimated 33 per cent of carbon emissions were from the transport sector, compared to 27 per cent from energy supply, 18 per cent from business and 18 per cent from the residential sector.

The transport sector has continuously been a contributing source to emissions in the UK. In 2017, transport sector contributed to a massive 27 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

Last week, the Department for Transport (DfT) released a report, which they called the ‘biggest regulatory review in a generation'. The new review outlines how it plans to transform the transport industry with green technology, including a £90 million investment which will go towards making journeys ‘greener’ and ‘easier’ in towns and cities across the UK.

Now, campaigners are calling for tougher targets to ensure the transition to a low carbon future. 

Morten Thaysen, Climate Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “With the climate alarm bells ringing louder than ever you’d think the government would finally wake up to the snails pace we’re cutting our transport emissions. For years now we’ve known that transport is the UK’s leading driver of the climate emergency. Both the government and the car industry are stalling when we need proper action. Ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, instead of the government’s date of 2040, would be a good starting point."

Read the full report here.