UK emissions rose 5% in 2021

Transport and power were the main sectors that drove this increase, government data shows

Big Zero Report 2022

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the UK increased by 5% in 2021, the government has said.

Moments before the announcement of the new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, the former BEIS Department published the final figures for GHG emissions in 2021, showing that the UK emitted 427 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, marking a rise in emissions from 2020.

The figures also confirm that 2021 emissions were still 5.3% lower than the reported level in 2019.

The government has stressed that the Covid pandemic and the restrictions introduced across the UK in 2020 and 2021 had a “significant” impact on GHG emissions.

Officials attributed this increase to the easing of travel restrictions and the emissions from power stations and the residential sector.

According to the statistics, GHG emissions from transport rose 10.3% in 2021, accounting for around half of the overall increase from 2020 – transport was the largest emitting sector, responsible for 26% of all GHG emissions in the UK.

Figures also show that emissions from the residential sector increased by 6.4%, while emissions from energy supply rose by 2.9% largely due to increased demand for electricity and the first increase in the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation since 2012.

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