UK's greenhouse gas emissions down by 7% | 29th Mar 2012
Commenting today on the UK's 2011 provisional greenhouse gas emissions Ed Davey, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said; "This is more evidence of how the UK is leading the way in the fight against climate change. Carbon emissions are down, homes are more energy efficient and low carbon power is up. Thanks to the Green Deal and the Government's reforms to the electricity market I hope to see this trend continue and gather pace."
However, WSP's David Symons comments; "These figures are to be welcomed, but it's important to understand the underlying reasons for the downward trend. The Government can take credit for some of the emissions reductions - particularly through the 35% increase in renewable electricity generation over 2010 - but not all. In reality, other factors out of Government control - such as the warmer weather and global energy prices could well have had a greater impact over the past year.
The largest emissions reduction comes from home gas heating. The Government attributes this to winter 2011 being significantly warmer than 2010, but we believe that the 20% increase in domestic gas prices over the same period is also significant. Hard pressed households will have been putting on an extra jumper rather than the heating. Higher gas prices could also explain the 17% reduction in electricity generated from gas, a reason principally attributed to overcoming technical problems in the nuclear sector in 2010.
Another cold winter or a drop in fuel prices could well see emissions rise again. There is much for the Government to continue to do encourage the growth of renewables and to help homeowners and businesses become more energy efficient."
You can see the Government's full release here.