Emissions in the UK - Statistics & Facts

With the onset of the Industrial Revolution in the early 19th century, human activity has caused an increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Since 2000, the United Kingdom has been reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to tackle the resulting environmental impact. The government has set a target of net zero to be achieved by 2050.
In 2018, emissions came to 451.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which compared to a peak of 718.2 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted in 1973.

Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas. Deforestation and the fossil fuel combustion have close to doubled carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and reduced pH levels in the oceans - causing acidification. In the UK, it makes up around 80 percent of total emissions. Methane is an even more potent greenhouse gas, naturally formed by decomposition of organisms and the main component of natural gas. The volume of methane emitted decreased to 51.05 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2018.
Regarding output of different industries, the transport sector is the main contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. It is the only sector, next to energy supply, where emissions still exceed 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Following government incentives, carbon dioxide emissions are projected to fall to 285 million metric tons by 2035, of which 75 million metric tons would be emitted from industries.

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Emissions in the UK

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Emissions by sector

Historical CO2 emissions

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