Emissions down but still work to do

The latest figures for greenhouse gas emissions for 2009 have been released from DECC, illustrating an 8.7% decrease on the previous year. And while this is good news the downturn in the economy also contributed to these lower figures.

The figures showed that UK emissions of the basket of six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride) were 566.3 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent. The overall decrease was the result of a significant fall in energy consumption and an increase in nuclear power rather than coal and natural gas for electricity generation.

Between 2008 and 2009 there were decreases across all sectors including 11% from the energy supply sector, 11.8% from the business sector, 36.5% from industrial processes, 4.2% from the transport sector and 5.8% in the residential sector.

Statistical evidence shows that in previous recessions emissions have fallen, only to increase at a greater rate in future years once the economy becomes more buoyant. So we still need to concentrate on developing a genuine low-carbon economy, where householders and industry all do their bit.

Investment in developing green technologies is crucial and the environment is one sector where job creation can be realised given the right direction and focus. There’s plenty of entrepreneurial spirit around the country keen to develop the technology and set up sustainable solutions – it should get all the support it needs.

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