The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 6% in 2016, official figures show.
Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, was down 7% in 2016 on the previous year, largely as a result of less use of coal for electricity generation and the closure of SSI steelworks at Redcar in September 2015.
Energy sector emissions were down 19% year on year as coal plants closed or switched to biomass and there was more use of gas, a less polluting fossil fuel, provisional data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) show.
The amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the energy supply sector has fallen by more than half (54%) since 1990, the baseline year for greenhouse gas emissions.
Overall the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 42% since 1990, and carbon dioxide output is down 37% since then.
In 2016 emissions from business and industrial processes also dropped, but transport, homes and the public sector all saw slight rises.
The transport sector has failed to cut its carbon dioxide emissions since 1990.
Data from Beis also show that the amount of electricity from renewables fell slightly in 2016 to 24.4% of generation, due to lower amounts of wind power.
Low carbon power sources – which include renewables and nuclear – were up slightly in 2016 to account for 45.6% of generation.
Coal accounted for just 9% of electricity generation in 2016, down from around 23% the year before.