An important change has started to take place in many economies. We have embarked on the transition to a “low-carbon economy”, which should provide the basis for a more environmentally sustainable future. We are in the early phases of the transition — and the UK is one of the economies where these changes are the most significant. Each year, PWC publishes an annual low-carbon economy report, looking at the progress countries are making in reducing the emissions that contribute to climate change. The latest report, published last month, shows that Britain cut its carbon emissions by nearly 3 per cent in the latest year for which data is available (2017). However, GDP in the economy grew by nearly 2 per cent in 2017, which might be expected to push up emissions as the economy expands. Relative to GDP, the “carbon intensity” of our economy fell by nearly 5 per cent in 2017. The UK’s performance is part of an international trend. In China, carbon intensity dropped by 5.2 per cent in 2017 and in the US it fell by 3.7 per cent. Across the world economy as a whole, carbon intensity reduced by 2.6 per cent in 2017. This is not a flash in the pan. Going back to 2000, the carbon intensity of economic activity has been falling by 1.6 per cent a year worldwide and by 3.7 per cent in the UK. It is no exaggeration to say that Britain is leading the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Times 2nd Jan 2019 read more »