Greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom fell 8.4% last year, the largest single-year drop since 1990, “as household energy consumption slumped, the use of coal for electricity generation fell, and policies on climate change took effect,” The Guardian reports.
“2014 was truly a record-breaking year for low-carbon generation. Our plan to decarbonize the economy while it grows is working,” said Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey. “It is crucial we continue to build a low-carbon energy sector based on homegrown sources, as it is crucial to improving our energy security, as well as stimulating economic growth and reducing emissions.”
“This is further evidence, if it was needed, that efforts to cut carbon and boost our economy can go hand in hand,” said Greenpeace UK Chief Scientist Doug Parr. “Since a reduction in coal use was a crucial factor in bringing down carbon dioxide emissions, these figures give us a taste of what could be achieved if our political leaders got serious about phasing out the dirtiest of all fossil fuels and gave proper backing to clean energy.”
“While this drop is positive,” agreed Emma Pinchbeck of the World Wildlife Fund, “we must remember that more ambitious carbon emissions reductions are required across different sectors to meet our climate change commitments.”