Total UK greenhouse gas emissions fell 8.1 per cent from 786.3 million to 722.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent on an Environmental Accounts basis between 1990 and 2003. However, greenhouse gas emissions in 2003 rose 1.6 per cent on the previous year, mainly due to increased emissions from the electricity generators.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity, gas and water supply companies fell 11.9 per cent from 218.6 million tonnes in 1990 to 192.6 million tonnes in 2003 as electricity generators increased their use of natural gas as opposed to coal. However, underlying data shows the level of greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity generators has increased in recent years. Emissions in 2003 rose 6.7 per cent on the previous year as a result of the greater use of coal for generation and a fall in the net level of electricity imported via the interconnector with France.
Greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation constituted 25.4 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2003 after falling to a low of 20.9 per cent in 1997.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing industries fell from 180.7 million tonnes in 1990 to 129.3 million tonnes in 2003,a fall of 28.5 per cent. However, emissions rose by 3.0 per cent in 2003 from a low of 125.5 million tonnes in 2002. The recent rise reflects an increase in emissions from the metal production industries.
There were some exceptions to the downward trend. For instance, greenhouse gas emissions from the transport and communication industries were 48.4 per cent higher in 2003 than in 1990. The transport and communication industries were responsible for emitting the equivalent of 95.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2003 compared with 64.5 million tonnes in 1990. Their greenhouse gas emissions in 2003 increased 5.2 per cent on 2002,largely reflecting the continuing rise in the number of UK owned ships following the introduction of the UK Tonnage Tax in 2000.
Source: Office for National Statistics and Netcen
The ONS Environmental Accounts measure greenhouse gas emissions on a UK residents basis – they include emissions generated by UK households and companies in the UK, and emissions from UK residents' transport and travel activities abroad. They exclude emissions generated by non-residents' transport and travel in the UK.
The data are therefore on a different basis from estimates previously published by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) under the UK’s Kyoto Protocol obligations. The Kyoto basis covers emissions from UK territory only and excludes emissions from international aviation and shipping.
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