Greenhouse gas emissions in UK fell 3% in 2018, official figures show

(The Guardian, 28 Mar 2019) Pollution from energy sector continues to drop, while low-carbon generation rose to 53%.

The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 3% in 2018 as pollution from the energy sector continued to decrease, provisional government figures show.

Emissions of the gases that drive climate change have fallen for six years in a row, and are 44% below the 1990 baseline for the UK. Emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, are at the lowest level since before the start of the 20th century, when Queen Victoria was still on the throne, government officials said.

The fall was mainly due to a 7% reduction in pollution from energy suppliers, as the power sector continued to switch away from coal to low-carbon technology such as renewables.

There was also a 3% drop in emissions from transport, which have barely fallen since 1990 and now make up the biggest share of the UK’s climate pollution.

Energy data also published on Thursday revealed that renewables accounted for a record third (33%) of electricity generation in 2018, while coal was just 5%, and gas was 39%.

Low-carbon generation, which covers renewables and nuclear, rose to a record 53%, the figures show.

Claire Perry, the energy and clean growth minister, said: “We can be proud that we continue to lead the way in reducing emissions while growing our economy.

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The Guardian, 28 Mar 2019: Greenhouse gas emissions in UK fell 3% in 2018, official figures show