There has been warnings given to the UK government towards their efforts of cutting carbon emissions after recent figures showed that Britain have slowed down yet again, with another year on year decrease being recorded. It’s now the sixth year running that carbon emission rates have fallen, with 361m tonnes of carbon dioxide being recorded in the atmosphere. This is after the UK recorded figures of 3.2% fall in 2017 and 8.7% in 2014.
The Labour party have had their say on the recent figures regarding cutting carbon emissions. They claim that there should be a bigger desire to speed up decarbonisation. Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey said the following: “The government are wrong to be complacent about the UK’s falling emissions when we know that winning slowly on climate change is the same as losing.”
There have been positive decreases occurring towards cutting carbon emissions but over the last 3 years, the pace has picked up in terms of a downwards spiral in reducing emissions. According to the Carbon Brief, coal power saw a large decline over a 10 year period and accounted for three quarters of CO2 reductions in that period.
The problem here lies with the fact that coal power continues to be a source for electricity generation, which means where the decreases have occurred, they’re likely increase again, meaning cutting carbon emissions is likely to be limited. There are still efforts being made to further cut coal use, with major coal stations across the country being closed with an expected date of around 2023 when the final coal stations will be closed.
Whilst there are cuts being made towards the power sector, other sectors have seen the opposite and become worse. Over the past few years, data produced by Carbon Brief has shows that oil and gas use for vehicles and heating haven’t seen a change with transport being the biggest contributor to pollution.
As a result, experts in the field of cutting carbon emissions claim that it wouldn’t necessarily be costly but it will cause a strain politically. Michael Grubb, professor of energy and climate change at University College London, said: “I don’t see higher costs, but tougher lobbying and coordination problems which can’t easily be tackled through economic instruments or auctions.”
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