The UK’s carbon dioxide emissions have fallen to their lowest level since the 19th century as coal use continues to lower, the analysis suggests.
According to Carbon brief website, the emission of greenhouse gas fell to 6% in 2016 after the use of coal instead of electricity were applied. This approach made the more than half of the lows in carbon dioxide. The assessment suggests carbon emissions in 2016 were about 381m tonnes, putting the UK’s carbon pollution at its lowest level – apart from during coal mining disputes in the 1920s – since 1894.
UK coal demand is falling rapidly because of cheaper gas, a hike in carbon taxes on the highly polluting fuel, expansion of renewables, dropping the demand for energy overall and the closure of Redcar steelworks in late 2015.
When emissions from coal fell in 2016, carbon output from gas rose 12.5% because of increased use of the fuel to generate electricity – although the use of gas remains well below highs seen in the 2000s.
Emissions from oil also increased slightly, by 1.6%, as low oil prices and economic growth lead to more miles being driven in the UK, the assessment by Carbon Brief found. The government has pledged that all the UK’s coal-fired power stations will be closed by 2025.