United Kingdom

Analysis: UK emissions fall 3.4% in 2022 as coal use drops to lowest level since 1757

UK emissions would have increased in 2022, without strong growth from wind and solar energy.

UK emissions would have increased in 2022, without strong growth from wind and solar energy. Image: REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

Simon Evans
Policy Editor, Carbon Brief
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United Kingdom

graph showing UK greenhouse gas emissions 1990-2022
Emissions fell by a record 9.8% in 2020, during the height of COVID. Image: Carbon Brief.

Graphic showing UK coal demand over the centuries. emissions
UK coal use climbed rapidly as industrialisation took off. Image: Carbon Brief.

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Close-up on heated steel. emissions
There have been significant declines in coal use by the UK steel industry. Image: REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk

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Graphic showing road and airport traffic levels in the UK.
Despite having doubled year-on-year in 2022, UK air traffic remains 20% below 2019 levels. Image: Carbon Brief.

Graphic showing reasons for UK emissions drop in 2022
UK emissions would have risen in 2022 without strong growth from renewables and above-average temperatures. Image: Carbon Brief.

Graphic showing UK emissions against economic growth since 1990.
The UK’s emissions are now 49% below 1990 levels, while the economy has grown 75% over the same period. Image: Carbon Brief.

Graphic showing how much emissions must fall to reach net-zero by 2050
2022's drop in emissions will be needed every year, for the next three decades, in order to reach net-zero by 2050. Image: Carbon Brief.

Graphic showing different sources for annual change in UK greenhouse gas emissions
Emissions data is also subject to revision in light of improvements in data collection and the methodology used. Image: Carbon Brief.
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United KingdomOil and GasEnergy Transition
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