UK greenhouse gas emissions rose in 2010, according to new official figures out today. DECC’s latest statistics show emissions in 2010 were 3.1% higher than the previous year, at 590 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e).
Householders were to blame for the biggest rise, according to the energy and climate change department, with the largest increase on 2009 levels (15%) in the residential sector, while emissions from the energy supply sector rose by around 3%.
Switching from nuclear power over to fossil fuels such as coal and gas also contributed, said DECC.
Newly appointed Energy Secretary Edward Davey said: “Emissions were up in 2010 because of the exceptionally cold weather and greater use of fossil fuels. One year won’t knock the UK off meeting its long term emission reduction targets, but it serves to underline the importance of the Coalition’s policies for insulating homes to cut bills and emissions and moving to greener alternative forms of energy.”
The UK is legally bound to cut 80% of its emissions by 2050 (on 1990 levels) under the Climate Change Act 2008. A closer deadline of 2020 looms for the UK to reduce emissions by at least 34%.