Energy related C02 emissions in the United Kingdom reached the lowest levels since 1888, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

A review the IEA said the findings, based on figures for 2017, demonstrated the impact of the UK’s positive reforms designed to promote decarbonisation and innovation in clean energy technologies.

It also highlighted the Government’s “track record in climate action, both at home and globally”.
The IEA’s executive director, Dr Fatih Birol said: 

“The United Kingdom has shown real results in terms of boosting investment in renewables, reducing emissions and maintaining energy security.

“The Government’s efforts are an inspiration for many countries who seek to design effective decarbonisation frameworks.

“It now faces the challenge of continuing its transition while ensuring the resilience of its energy system.”
The report found that the rapid reduction was achieved, in part, through significant renewable investment following the UK’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR). By 2030, the UK is forecast to see its share of variable renewables pass 50 per cent.

“This report highlights our reputation as a world leader in the global shift to greener, cleaner economies, cutting emissions by more than 40 per cent since 1990 while growing our economy,” said Chris Skidmore, the UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister. 

“We can be proud of dramatically decarbonising our energy system thanks to record levels of investment in renewables, while security of supply has never been in doubt. But we’re not complacent and we’re now on a path to become the first major economy to legislate for net-zero emissions to end our contribution to global warming entirely.”
The IEA review did, however, identify “significant potential” for improvements, including scaling-up clean energy investment in the transport and heat sectors and bringing more focus on the Government’s Growth Strategy.

Globally, however, the picture is less positive.

A report published by the IEA in March found that energy-related C02 emissions worldwide rose by 1.7 per cent in 2018 to a historic high of 33 billion tonnes.