Britain’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fell by 8.9% in 2020, largely driven by a slump in economic activity due to measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, provisional government data showed on Thursday.
Government measures over the past year to control the pandemic have at times shut down large parts of the economy, leading to lower power demand and fewer cars on the road.
“This large fall in 2020 is primarily due to the large reduction in the use of road transport during the nationwide lockdowns and the reduction in business activity,” the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said in a preliminary report.
GHG emissions were estimated at 414.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020, down from 454.8 million the previous year, the data showed.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the main GHG, were estimated to be 326 million tonnes, 10.7% lower than in 2019.
Britain’s emissions have fallen for the last eight years in a row, and are now 48.8% below 1990 levels, the data showed.