Major Progress at Reducing Emissions in UK - IEA

03 July 2019

According to the International Energy Agency's latest report, the United Kingdom (UK) has made significant progress in reducing emissions.

“The United Kingdom has shown real results in terms of boosting investment in renewables, reducing emissions, and maintaining energy security,” said Fatih Birol, IEA’s Executive Director. “It now faces the challenge of continuing its transition while ensuring the resilience of its energy system.”

Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in the UK reached the lowest levels since 1888 in 2017. The reduction was achieved in part through renewable investments following the UK’s Electricity Market Reform (EMR). By 2030, the UK forecasts 50% of its market share will be in variable renewables. 

The UK is “now on a path to become the first major economy to legislate for net-zero emissions to end our contribution to global warming entirely,” said said Chris Skidmore, UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister.

Outside of the power sector, the report said there is great potential for improvement in the UK. Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change will require major clean energy investment in the transportation and heating sectors, which is a strategic focus of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy.

According to the report, action in these sectors will require a diverse range of solutions including technology innovation and electrification, stimulated by fiscal policies and energy efficiency to help offset higher power costs.