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PwC: UK leads the G20 in decarbonisation

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World Coal,

The UK is strongly outperforming its peers within the G20, according to PwC’s Low Carbon Economy Index (LCEI).

The new analysis reveals that in 2016, the UK achieved a decarbonisation rate of 7.7% – almost three times the global average of 2.6% and putting it at the top of our LCEI table.

Jonathan Grant, Director of Climate Change and LCEI co-author at PwC, commented: “Our initial LCEI analysis shows the UK hitting impressive decarbonisation rates compared with other major countries.  The UK led the world in the industrial revolution and is now leading the low carbon revolution.”

Claire Perry, Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry, said: “This report confirms the UK is leading the world in the fight against climate change and highlights the results of our efforts to phase out dirty coal power while investing in renewable technologies and energy efficiency.”

“The Government recognises there is still work to do. The upcoming Clean Growth Plan will outline our ambitious plan for reducing emissions in key sectors, while taking advantage of opportunities to grow the economy throughout the 2020s,” Perry continued. 

Now in its ninth year, the Low Carbon Economy Index tracks G20 countries’ progress in reducing the carbon intensity of their economy – i.e. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions per million dollars of GDP. 

Initial results show the UK continued to make progress in 2016 despite uncertainties around Brexit and the implications for the UK’s climate change commitments.

The UK has reduced its energy related emissions in 2016 by 6%, driven largely by a dramatic fall in coal consumption, while maintaining GDP growth of 1.8%.

Energy demand fell by 1.4% due to continued improvements in energy efficiency in buildings, vehicles and appliances.

The most important factor accounting for the fall in carbon intensity is the reduction in coal consumption, which halved in 2016. However the shift last year was away from coal and towards natural gas – two thirds of the energy gap was filled by another fossil fuel. Coal now represents just 7% of UK’s energy consumption, down from 23% in 2012. 

China, the world’s largest emitter, reduced its carbon intensity by 6.5% and is ranked second in the Index.

The full results for the Low Carbon Economy Index will be published in October 2017.

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