Monday, 18 April 2016

UK Carbon Emissions have fallen to where they were in 1900

UK CO2 emissions (millions of tonnes) between 1850 and 2015. Source: DECC and the World 
Resources Institute CAIT data explorer. Chart by Carbon Brief. The CAIT data has been adjusted 
because it excludes land use emissions.

What do we make of this? On the face of it, we have been supremely

successful at reducing our carbon emissions since they peaked in 1970,

and are now back down to where they were in 1900.

What has caused this? Here are a few reasons, not necessarily in order of importance:
  • Switching away from coal fired power stations
  • De-industrialisation
  • Continuous progress in energy efficiency
  • The introduction of renewables
  • Demand management!

Where will further progress come from? When will we get back to pre-1850 levels of emissions, which we need to do to combat climate change?
Low Hanging Fruit

For a start we can create the opportunity for a higher percentage of renewables in our energy mix by time-shifting domestic and small business consumption out of peak times -this is probably now the easiest piece of low hanging fruit to pick in the fight to reduce carbon.

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