Davey says low carbon policy is working

Ed Davey has claimed the government’s low carbon policies are working, after UK greenhouse gas emissions dropped. Yesterday DECC released final figures for emissions during 2013 which showed a 2.4% […]

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By Sumit Bose

Ed Davey has claimed the government’s low carbon policies are working, after UK greenhouse gas emissions dropped.

Yesterday DECC released final figures for emissions during 2013 which showed a 2.4% drop in the UK, as the shutdown of coal power plants took effect.

A third of the UK’s climate pollution comes from energy generation but that figure was down 7%, as the total  amount of coal used in electricity generation decreased 8% and gas use fell 6% on the previous year.

The Energy Secretary gleefully said this proved his government’s reforms were justified: “These figures show our ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions while growing the economy are working – and show other countries around the world that green growth is achievable and affordable.

“There is no room for complacency – we need to keep working at home to decarbonise the economy and get a global emissions deal in Paris to put the world on a low-carbon path.”

Overall the stats show total emissions dropped from 582.2 million tonnes, to 568.3 million tonnes from 2012 to 2013. Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, also fell by around 1.8%.

The figures record only emissions produced in this country and not all the greenhouse gases associated with UK consumption. The nation’s total “carbon footprint”, which also includes emissions from products sourced or manufactured abroad and then imported to the UK, suggests the pollution the country is responsible for is much higher than the official figures.

The UK’s total carbon footprint peaked in 2007 at 1,091 million tonnes and has since fallen by 20%.