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This is the UK’s territorial emissions from fuel burnt in our homes and factories.
We report these emissions to the UNFCCC.
Emissions are measured in megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The emissions include the following greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
The UK pledged to reduce its emissions by 20% of 1990 levels by 2020 under the Kyoto Protocol.
This target was met in 2008.
But are territorial emissions the only way to account for the UK’s impact?
If we add emissions from imported products and remove emissions from exports, this calculates a consumption-based emissions account.
The UK’s consumption emissions closely follow GDP and were rising until the recession.
The UK has also pledged to reduce territorial emissions by 80% by 2050 in
order to try and help prevent dangerous levels of climate
We can make reductions to our territorial emissions by using
greener fuels in our factories and making products more
efficiently. This chart shows what that level of reduction looks
Many countries in the rest of the world have also made commitments
to reduce their emissions. This means that the emissions associated
with our imports will also reduce.
We have modelled how we think the UK’s emissions associated with
trade will change up until 2050. The model takes into account
changes in trade patterns, changes in levels of UK consumption,
changes in the types of products bought and changes in the
efficiencies of production.
The UK remains a net importer of emissions. We import more
emissions than we export. We argue that our reduction target for
territorial emissions should be even stricter to take account of
To meet the 80% reduction target, the UK has a budget of 13 GT
of CO2e to use between now and 2050. If the result of the climate
negotiations in Paris in 2015 is a global deal that takes into
account traded emissions, this budget may change.
Taking into account the fact that we are a net importer of
emissions, this budget could reduce to 9 GT.
This brings forward our 80% reduction commitment to 2040 rather
We will have ten fewer years.
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|Photo: "Ulsan Express" by Henry Burrows, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
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