British emissions rose by 4.7% last year

The lifting of lockdown led to higher transport and power station emissions

Big Zero Report 2022

In 2021, the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rose by 4.7%.

That’s according to new government analysis, revealing that the spike in pollutants is largely due to the increase in road transport following the end of lockdown.

Throughout the year, Britain emitted 424 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, however, this was still a 5.2% reduction on 2019 data.

As national lockdown lifted, normality resumed for many, leading to a 10% jump up in transport emissions in 2021, accounting for half the overall spike.

Power station emissions increased by 9.2% with higher energy demands and fossil fuel electricity generation rose for the first time since 2012.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) stated: “This increase in 2021 is primarily due to the increase in the use of road transport as nationwide lockdowns were eased, along with increases in emissions from power stations and the residential sector.”

The UK has set a goal to achieve net zero by 2050, however, for this to be the case GHG emissions need to slashed at far quicker rates.

The data in the government report only includes domestic emissions, excluding aviation-based emissions or those generated from supply chains.

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