UK’s carbon footprint 21% below peak levels, latest Government figures show
20th March 2020 | Commercial Energy
The UK’s total carbon footprint – a term used to cover consumption-related emissions wherever in the world they occur – fell by 21% between 2007 and 2017, new Government data has revealed. Publishes late on Thursday (19 March) by the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Government’s latest carbon footprint report charts the nation’s consumption-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 2017 and compares them to annual records dating back to 1997.
In order for GHG emissions to be classed as consumption-related, they much be either directly attributable to UK households: generated by the value chain of UK-produced goods and services used by UK residents: or embedded in the value chain of imported goods and services that were ultimately used in the UK.
The data reveals that the national carbon footprint stood at 772 million tonnes of CO2e in 2017, down 21% from the 2007 peak of 977 million tonnes and down 9% from 1997, when the current series of records began. Defra analysts broadly attribute this trend to the decarbonisation of energy used to manufacture products: the ongoing shift to service-based models: and efficiency improvements.
On a shorter-term basis, the report also documents a 3% year-on-year reduction in the UK’s carbon footprint from 2016 to 2017. According to Defra, this is in line with the year-on-year trends throughout the rest of the decade and is largely the result in reduced domestic travel, and of the use of renewable electricity by UK manufacturers. As well as providing a broad overview, the report breaks down trends in emissions from each of the three sources classes as consumption-related.
Emissions generated by the value chain of UK-produced goods and services used by UK residents fell by almost one-third (31%) between 1997 and 2017, as businesses invested in energy efficiency, resource efficiency and renewable energy.
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