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Greenhouse gas emissions show 8% drop

Published 02/02/2016

The drop was partly attributed to 2014 having a warmer winter
The drop was partly attributed to 2014 having a warmer winter

Greenhouse gas output in the UK fell almost 8% in 2014, although emissions from transport and agriculture rose slightly, official figures show.

Emissions of major polluter carbon dioxide were down 8.9% in 2014 on the previous year, while emissions of all the greenhouse gases were 7.7% below 2013 levels, the data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) showed.

The biggest falls in 2014 were in the power sector (13.6%), which saw less use of coal in electricity, and in homes (17%), where a warmer year meant less gas was used for heating.

But transport, mostly from road vehicles, saw an increase of 1% in emissions, while agriculture was up 3%.

The transport sector has seen only a 3% drop in emissions since the benchmark year of 1990, while the agricultural industry has seen falls of 16% since then.

Overall, greenhouse gas emissions were down more than a third (35%) between 1990 and 2014, the most recent year for which final figures are available.

The UK is well on track to meet its second "carbon budget" for the emissions reductions it must make between 2013 and 2017 to meet long term legally-binding cuts of 80% by 2050 cost effectively, the figures showed.

But Decc has admitted the UK is not on target to meet the fourth carbon budget, for cuts that need to be made by the mid-2020s, with the shortfall widening.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "We are determined to meet our climate change commitments in the most cost-effective way so we can keep bills as low as possible, and have already reduced our emissions by over 30% since 1990.

"Our new emissions reduction plan - due to be published towards the end of 2016 - will set out our proposals in full."

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