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.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 37 most important statistics relating to "Emissions in the UK".

Emissions in the UK

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Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Emissions in the UK" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Emissions by sector

Historical CO2 emissions



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