UK carbon emissions in 2017 fell to levels last seen in 1890. Carbon Brief analysis shows the UK’s CO2 emissions from fossil fuels fell by 2.6% in 2017, driven by a 19% decline in coal use. This follows on the heels of a larger 5.8% drop in CO2 in 2016, which saw a record 52% drop in coal use. The UK’s total CO2 emissions are currently 38% below 1990 levels and are now as low as emissions were back in 1890 – the year the Forth Bridge opened in Scotland and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray was published. Based on the preliminary BEIS numbers, Carbon Brief estimates that oil and petroleum use accounted for approximately 49% of total UK CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in 2017, up from 37% in 2010. The increased fraction of emissions coming from oil is due to declines in emissions from coal, as total emissions from oil has actually slightly declined, from 196MtCO2 to 191MtCO2 between 2010 and 2017. The transportation sector consumed approximately 77% of all oil in 2015, the latest year where detailed breakdowns of consumption by sector are available. This means that approximately 38% of total UK CO2 emissions from fossil fuels can be attributed to oil consumed in the transportation sector in 2017, up from 36% in 2016.
Carbon Brief 7th March 2018 read more »