Carbon Brief analysis shows the UK’s CO2 emissions fell for the sixth consecutive year in 2018, the longest series of continuous reductions on record.
The estimated 1.5% reduction was once again driven by falling coal use, down 16% compared to a year earlier, whereas oil and gas use were largely unchanged. However, there are signs the recent run of reductions could be coming to an end, with 2018 seeing the smallest fall in the six-year series.
The UK’s CO2 emissions were an estimated 361m tonnes (MtCO2) in 2018, some 39% below 1990. Outside years with general strikes, this would be the lowest since 1888, when the first-ever Football League match was played and Tower Bridge was being built in London.
These findings are based on Carbon Brief analysis of newly released energy use figures from the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The department will publish its own CO2 estimates on 28 March.