UK emissions fall for the sixth year running as coal is phased out, but rate of decline slows
Greenhouse gas emissions fell three per cent in the UK last year as more coal power plants came offline.
The fall, which includes a two per cent drop in carbon dioxide emissions, follows a long-term decline in Britain.
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Total greenhouse gas emissions have fallen by 44 per cent since 1990 to 449m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, figures from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) show.
Carbon emissions were pushed lower from the energy supply and transport sectors, which reduced the amount they released into the atmosphere by seven and three per cent respectively.
Reductions in the power supply come largely from the rapid scaling back of coal as Britain’s main source of energy.
The polluting fuel, which in 1990 accounted for around two-thirds of Britain’s supply, was reduced to a mere fraction last year. Meanwhile gas and renewables have stepped in to fill the gap.
However the residential and public sectors pushed against the trend, rising three and four per cent.
And the rate of decline was lower than in 2017 and the six per cent drop in 2016.
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Pressure group Friends of the Earth used the figures to call for another £22bn to make houses more energy efficient, improve public transport and plant more trees.
Head of research Mike Childs said: “We can’t ignore the fact that the energy transition is slowing. All the back-slapping from government on very modest improvements shows that they have not yet grasped the scale and speed of change needed. If we are to avoid climate chaos, we have to do much more.”