The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.1% between 2009 and 2010, according to the latest official statistics.
The figures cover the six greenhouse gases, including CO2, that come under the auspices of the Kyoto Protocol, which were estimated to be 590.4 million tonnes CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2010 up from 572.5 MtCO2e the previous year.
The residential sector showed a marked rise of just over 15% for all greenhouse gases over the course of the year, while CO2, the main greenhouse gas, was up 15.8%.
While most other sectors stayed stable throughout 2009 and 2010, the energy supply sector was also up 2.8% in 2010 compared with 2009 for all greenhouse gases with CO2 up 3.1%.
The government blames the particularly cold winter last year, which drove up domestic heating use, and a switch away from nuclear power to gas for electricity generation.
“Emissions were up in 2010 because of the exceptionally cold weather and greater use of fossil fuels,” commented Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey.
He said that one year’s figures wouldn’t knock the UK off its course to meet its long-term emission reduction targets. In 2009, the UK’s emissions were down 8.7%, thanks to the economic downturn.
“It serves to underline the importance of the Coalition’s policies for insulating homes to cut bills and emissions and moving to greener alternative forms of energy,” said Davey.
For further information:
EU emissions up in 2010, but still on track to meet Kyoto Protocol target (11-Oct 2011)
UK greenhouse gas emissions down 8.7% in 2009 (1-Feb 2011)
08 February 2012