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Large fall in UK greenhouse gas emissions of over 8% last year

Published on The Guardian website on 26th March 2015

The biggest fall in emissions since 1990 saw carbon dioxide output drop by almost a tenth while energy from renewable sources rose to a record high of almost 20% of electricity, government figures show

UK’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped by a big Photograph: Julie Edwards/Alamy

UK’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped by a big Photograph: Julie Edwards/Alamy

The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions plunged by 8.4% last year, as household energy consumption slumped, the use of coal for electricity generation fell, and policies on climate change took effect, according to government statistics released on Thursday.

Carbon dioxide output fell by almost a tenth, as renewable energy generation rose to a new record high, accounting for nearly a fifth of electricity.

It was the biggest fall in emissions since 1990. Over the last five years, following a sharp fall in 2009, emissions appeared to have reached a plateau, with slight rises in some years owing to increasing coal use. The price of coal has dropped on world markets, as shale gas has sapped demand in the US, leaving a glut.

Green campaigners welcomed the fall, but they warned that more must be done to reach targets.

Continue reading Large fall in UK greenhouse gas emissions of over 8% last year

Solar energy 'could provide 4% of UK electricity by 2020'

Published on the BBC News website on 24th March 2014

Solar Panel Array

Solar power could provide up to 4% of the UK’s electricity by the end of the decade, the government has said.

The plummeting cost of solar panels has caused the government to revise upwards its forecast for solar energy use, Energy Secretary Ed Davey said.

This had contributed to the government decision to end most subsidies for large-scale solar this month, he added.

But the solar industry said the cuts were a mistake and would prevent it from competing with fossil fuels.

Continue reading Solar energy ‘could provide 4% of UK electricity by 2020′

Cameron, Clegg and Miliband sign joint climate pledge

Published on The Guardian website on 14th February 2015

  

Three party leaders make cross-party declaration to tackle climate change in a rare show of unity in the runup to the general election

Prime minister David Cameron (R), deputy PM Nick Clegg (C) and opposition leader Ed Milliband (L) have been praised for showing ‘inspiring leadership’ with their joint climate declaration. Photograph: Gerry Penny/EPA

Prime minister David Cameron (R), deputy PM Nick Clegg (C) and opposition leader Ed Milliband (L) have been praised for showing ‘inspiring leadership’ with their joint climate declaration. Photograph: Gerry Penny/EPA

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have signed a joint pledge to tackle climate change, which they say will protect the UK’s national security and economic prosperity.

The agreement of the three party leaders is highly unusual and comes amid a general election campaign that is becoming increasingly bitter.

The prime minister, deputy prime minister and leader of the opposition have all clashed over green issues, but the joint declaration states: “Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today. It is not just a threat to the environment, but also to our national and global security, to poverty eradication and economic prosperity.”

Continue reading Cameron, Clegg and Miliband sign joint climate pledge

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