UK on track to meet second carbon budget, says government

The UK is “on track” to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 29% by the end of this year. New statistics from the Department for Business, Energy […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK is “on track” to meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 29% by the end of this year.

New statistics from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) reveal the UK has seen a fall in emissions, mainly due to a decrease in coal consumption.

The data includes final figures for 2015 and provisional statistics for 2016, showing emissions have fallen around 10% in the last two years. It states emissions fell 4% in 2015 and 6% in 2016.

The report adds UK greenhouse gas emission from 2013 to 2015 stood at 1,569MtCO2e.

The second carbon budget level, for the period 2013 to 2017, is 2,782MtCo2e.

Energy supply and waste management sectors experienced the largest reductions in emissions from 2014 to 2015.

The energy supply sector also saw the largest CO2 emissions reduction from 2015 to 2016, driven by change in fuel mix for power generation last year, with less use of coal and more of nuclear and renewables.

Coal’s share of the mix dropped from 22.3% in 2015 to 9.1% last year, a new record low. Gas continued to displace coal, with its share rising from 29.5% to 42.4%.

Wind, solar and hydropower also saw a fall in production through 2016.

Investors recently urged the government to publish a long term strategy for decarbonisation to enable the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.