UK races up carbon savings league table

The UK has shot up to second place in a league table of how G20 nations are improving their carbon emissions’ efficiency. It was third from bottom in PwC’s Low […]

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By Vicky Ellis

The UK has shot up to second place in a league table of how G20 nations are improving their carbon emissions’ efficiency.

It was third from bottom in PwC’s Low Carbon Economy Index in 2012.

The list looks at nations’ change in rate of carbon intensity which is the amount of carbon dioxide emitted for every $GDP the country produces.

The UK achieved a 4.8% reduction in carbon intensity, four times the average level achieved globally, according to PwC.

This is better than cuts made during the dash for gas in the nineties but is still 1.2% short of what is needed, found the report.

It means that for every $1 million of GDP, the UK emits 206 tonnes of CO2, making UK factories, homes and offices more carbon efficient this year than Turkey, Germany, the US, China and India.

PwC puts the improvement down to increased energy efficiency, a record growth in renewables of almost 34% and several coal plants closing.

However there is still a pressing need to crush emissions more across the globe, according to Leo Johnson, Partner for Sustainability and Climate Change.

He said: “The challenge now is getting a policy platform in place that accelerates this transition. Our current burn rate is taking us to four degrees [of global warming]. Keeping it to two degrees means decarbonising at more than five times our current rate.”

At current “burn rates”, this century’s entire carbon budget will be used up within 20 years, found the ‘2 degrees of separation – ambition & reality’ report.