UK greenhouse gas emissions fell by 8.4% to 520.5 million tonnes of CO2e thanks largely to a decrease in electricity production coupled with a drop in coal-based power, provisional government data showed on Thursday.
The country’s greenhouse gas output is now around 36% below 1990 levels, while its CO2 emissions are down some 29% during that period after falling by 9.7% last year.
Warmer-than-normal temperatures also helped the residential and business sectors cut their emissions by 17% and 7% respectively last year, while energy consumption dropped and is now down 11 percent since 1990.
The only sector to see an increase in CO2 was transport, whose emissions rose 1.1% to 1.2 million tonnes due to an increase in travel.
The drop in emissions suggests the country’s major emitters required fewer carbon allowances under the EU ETS last year, which could add to the current permit surplus of more than 2 billion units and weigh on EUA prices.
An analyst poll conducted by Carbon Pulse earlier this week found that expectations were for a 5.5% drop in overall EU ETS emissions last year.
The provisional figures put the UK on track to reach its targets under the country’s Climate Change Act, which has set a 2020 milestone of a 34% reduction on 1990 levels en route to a legally-binding 2050 goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.
The UK’s figures also reflected a wider global trend, as according to the IEA the world’s total CO2 output appeared to have stagnated last year while the global economy grew by 3%.
The UK’s GDP also rose by 2.6% in 2014, supporting the notion that more economies are managing to decouple economic growth from emissions growth.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org