The UK's Drop in CO2 Emissions Shows the Power of Carbon Taxes
A new analysis indicates that the UK’s CO2 output is at a record low, and it’s largely down to one major action: a reduction in coal use.
Released by the climate science and policy website Carbon Brief, the report suggests that coal use has significantly declined to 36 percent below 1990 levels. In fact, the CO2 pollution level in 2016 was around 381m tonnes. Scientists believe this figure to be the lowest operating level — discounting the mining disputes of the 1920s — since 1894.
The analysis examines the UK’s own Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures, and identifies a few factors driving the fall of coal.
Carbon Brief notes that these include cheaper gas prices, the UK’s carbon taxes and the expansion of renewable and green energy sources. Other influences like the general drop in energy demand, as well as the closure of several large scale manufacturing operations that once relied on coal — the closure of the Redcar steelworks facility, for example — have also played a significant part in decreasing dependence on coal.
Read more at Care2
Photo credit: Arnold Paul (cropped by Gralo) via Wikimedia Commons