UK Emissions Data Shows Impact of Recession

 photo : DECC

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has released provisional 2009 figures for UK greenhouse gas emissions.

At a first glance, the figures appear to tell a positive story, with the UK set to meet its pledge to cut CO2 emissions by 20% from 1990 levels in 2010. However on closer inspection, it can be seen that emissions have been more or less steady since 1995 and the big drop occurred in 2009 as a result of the global recession and a significant drop in manufacturing output. It is likely, therefore, that similar reductions have occurred throughout Europe and North America.

From a social and economic perspective, a reduction in output is counterproductive. If manufacturing capacity is lost in Europe and North America, it is unlikely to be replaced at the same location.

It is absolutely right to focus on reducing emissions but innovation and good engineering practice is the way to achieve this. The 2009 figures create a positive illusion but the reality is that we have a long way to go to achieve sustainable emissions reductions.

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