UK halves emissions

Official data shows that the UK has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% between 1990 and 2022

The UK has become the first major economy to halve its emissions, achieving a 50% reduction between 1990 and 2022 while experiencing a nearly 80% growth in the economy, according to new official statistics.

This accomplishment surpasses France‘s 23% reduction and the US status quo during the same period.

Renewables now contribute nearly 40% of the UK’s electricity, up from just 7% in 2010.

These reductions primarily stem from transitioning away from coal to renewables in energy generation, with coal’s contribution to UK electricity set to reach zero later this year.

Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho said: “The UK is the first major economy – of the top 20 countries – to halve its emissions. This is an enormous achievement by itself but also because we have done this in a pragmatic way – growing our economy by 80% at the same time and protecting family finances.

“With some of the most ambitious targets in the world, we should be proud that we’ve over-achieved on our carbon budget for the third time in a row. We will continue to meet out targets but in a pragmatic way that doesn’t clobber extra costs onto hard working families.”

The Association for Decentralised Energy’s (ADE) Senior Policy Manager, Chris Friedler, commented: “Today’s figures are a major good news story for our nation and the world, and the UK can be proud of its role in leading the charge in the fight against climate change.

“It also brings the Fourth Carbon Budget target for 2025 into easy reach, a policy that little over a decade ago was considered radical, proving ambition and vision can pay off.

“However, the biggest challenge is yet to come, with some of the slower decarbonising sectors now needing more attention and critically, realistically ambitious policies. At the halfway point, the UK must stay the course.”

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