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UK first major economy to halve carbon emissions

Posted on 08 Feb 2024 and read 288 times
UK first major economy to halve carbon emissions The UK is the first major economy to halve its emissions – having cut them by 50% between 1990 and 2022, while also growing its economy by 79% - new official statistics released today confirm. This compares to a 23% reduction in France and no change in the USA between 1990 and 2021.

With renewables now accounting for more than 40% of the country’s electricity – up from just 7% in 2010, this shows the UK is leading the way on cleaner energy. These reductions are largely due to cutting emissions from energy generation, through the shift away from using coal to using renewable forms of energy. In 2012, coal provided almost 40% of UK electricity, but later this year, this will be zero.

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. We have also increased our renewables electricity generation from just 7% in 2010 to nearly 50% now. With some of the most ambitious targets in the world, we should be proud that we have over-achieved on our carbon budget for the third time in a row.”

Today’s publication covers greenhouse gas emissions statistics up to 2022, and show total greenhouse gas emissions were 50% lower in 2022 than in 1990. Despite rises in some sectors from 2021 levels, as the UK continued to recover from Covid-19, 2022 saw an overall fall in greenhouse gas emissions in the UK – with a decrease of 3.5% from 2021, and 9.3% lower when compared to 2019, the most recent pre-pandemic year.

The UK Government says that these statistics show the UK is making significant progress towards its ‘net zero’ target. While statistics from recent years remain impacted by the unprecedented economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the long-term trend shows that the UK is rapidly driving down emissions - meeting and exceeding its carbon targets.