Climate Action

Carbon emissions in UK fall for sixth consecutive year

New analysis shows UK carbon emissions have fallen for the sixth consecutive year.

  • 04 March 2019
  • Rachel Cooper

New analysis shows UK carbon emissions have fallen for the sixth consecutive year.

New data from Carbon Brief has found that carbon emissions in the UK have fallen for the sixth consecutive year, marking it the longest series of continuous reductions on record and the lowest since 1888.

The analysis, using figures from the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, found that in 2018 the UK’s estimated carbon emissions were as estimated 361 million tonnes (MtCO2), resulting in a decrease of 1.5 per cent.

However, Dr Simon Evans, author of the analysis, took to twitter to highlight that, despite the 6 year reduction in emissions, there has been a decline in this reduction and the UK need to be careful for future climate targets.

A 1.5 percent decrease is a much smaller reduction that previous years. In 2014, carbon emissions fell by 8.7 per cent and 2016 there was a decline of 5.9 per cent.

The analysis attributes most of the reductions to the decline in coal, in 2018, coal made up only 7 per cent of UK total carbon emissions. In contrast, gas emissions actually increased 4 per cent whereas oil remained unchanged.

Transport is the single-largest sector in the UK for carbon emissions, according to the report. They explain that this is because transport emissions haven’t changed much since 1990, whereas other sectors have declined.

The analysis also highlighted the recent report from the Committee of Climate Change (CCC) which found that UK housing is not equipped to deal with climate change and could be putting carbon targets at risk.