TECH

The UK's Carbon Emissions Have Drop After Coal Use Reaches New Low

Coal use has dropped a staggering 50 per cent.

06/03/2017 14:14 GMT | Updated 06/03/2017 14:14 GMT

The UK’s carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by an impressive 6 per cent after a massive reduction in coal use.

CO2 emissions from coal fell a massive 50 per cent as the use of fossil dropped to a new record low of 52 per cent.

According to the Carbon Brief website, three coal fired power stations were closed in 2016.

Dan Kitwood via Getty Images
The former coal-fired power station in West Yorkshire officially closed in 2016, after 50 years in service.

The fall in coal pollution contributed to an overall drop in emissions of 5.8% in 2016 compared to the year before, Carbon Brief said.

It means UK carbon emissions in 2016 had fallen to around 36% below the reference year of 1990.

The analysis uses energy use figures from the Department of Energy, Business and Industrial Strategy, and comes ahead of the department’s own estimates for UK carbon dioxide emissions which are due to be published at the end of the month.

The assessment reveals that coal use has fallen by almost three-quarters (74%) in just a decade.

UK coal demand is falling rapidly because of cheaper gas, a hike in carbon taxes on the highly polluting fuel, expansion of renewables, dropping demand for energy overall and the closure of Redcar steelworks in late 2015.

While emissions from coal fell in 2016, carbon output from gas rose 12.5% because of increased use of the fuel to generate electricity - although use of gas remains well below highs seen in the 2000s.

Gas use for home and business heating has been falling for a decade, thanks to more insulation and efficient boilers, but the rate of progress has stalled.

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.

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