Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK fell 3 percent last year from the previous year, due to increased use of renewable power sources and lower energy consumption.
The new figures indicate that the UK has outperformed its target for emissions reduction during the “second carbon budget”, which is part of the country’s plan to cut emissions 80 percent by 2050.
The preliminary data released Thursday by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show that the rise of renewables, and reduced use of coal and gas, were key reasons for the emissions drop.
Renewable energy accounted for 29 percent of electricity generated in the UK last year, up from a 24 percent share in 2016, according to the data.
As a result, overall emissions from energy supply and the power sector fell 8 percent last year compared to the previous year, the biggest contributor to the overall drop in emissions.
Coal production fell to a record low-level last year due to mine closures, and coal and gas accounted for a shrinking share of electricity generation.
Last year’s emission levels, at 456 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, were 43 percent lower than in 1990.