If you ever want to travel back in time, you don’t have to get yourself a time machine – just going to Britain will send you to 1890. At least, this is 1890 from the perspective of CO2 emissions. This is due to numbers reporting quite an astonishing achievement for the United Kingdom, as its greenhouse gas emissions finally fell to historic levels.
According to new data, the greenhouse emissions of the UK had fallen to 388-million tons of CO2 in 2017, which puts it along the same level as the one observed in 1890, when the population was just half its current size. This is perhaps due to the rapid and startling decline of the UK’s usage of coal.
The numbers also reflect a 2.6-percent decrease in terms of domestic emissions from 2016, and a 19-percent overall decrease in coal use. The United Kingdom achieved such an astonishing achievement, as its emissions are also 38-percent below the levels seen in 1990. This is part of the continued effort of the country to reach an 80-percent drop of emissions since 1990 levels, as per the Paris Climate Agreement. Britain wants to achieve this goal by 2050, and it’s seems it’s going to get there soon.
A dramatic shift in resources
It seems the startling decline in emissions is an effect of the United Kingdom’s rapid push away from coal and into more renewable energy sources. These include renewable energy, oil, and gas. In fact, only 5.3-percent of Britain’s total energy consumption is from coal, which is 22-percent lower than 1995 statistics. Should all go according to plan, coal-dependent power station in Britain would be shut down as early as 2025.
In fact, the collapse of coal actually contributed a major factor in the decline of CO2 emissions in the United Kingdom. The emissions themselves have fallen to a whopping 50-percent in between 2010 and 2016, and in fact Brits now just produce a third of the usual emission than the average American. Initiatives such as carbon taxes and lowered prices for renewables are slowly making the push for better sources of energy and the pushing out of dangerous ones. In fact, coal right now just provides back-up energy for the United Kingdom, which usually only happens on winter days that are wind-free and sunless.
Leo Hickman of Carbon Brief said should Britain be able to meet its goals within the next few decades, there have to be measures to be put in place to ensure this gets maintained over a prolonged period of time. This also has to be accelerated, if possible. As such, there should be a push to modify and evaluate the building and transport sectors as well, which are seen to be areas that have elusive emission reduction plans.
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