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UK GHG emissions contracted by 5% in 2023 to 53% below their 1990 level

According to provisional estimates by the UK government, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United Kingdom declined by 5.4% to 384 MtCO2eq in 2023, thanks to a 6.6% drop in CO2 emissions to less than 303 Mt. Consequently, at the end of 2023, total GHG emissions stood 53% below their 1990 level.

The GHG emissions reductions are largely due to a lower gas demand from the power supply (-20% in 2023, or -78% since 1990) due to the shift in fuel use within power plants away from using coal for electricity generation towards gas and renewables and to higher electricity imports from France. The reduction in gas demand from buildings and product uses - related to high energy prices - also contributed to cut GHG emissions (-6% in 2023, or -28% since 1990). GHG emissions fell by 8% in industry (reduced fuel consumption in the iron and steel industry) and by 1.4% in domestic transport, though this sector remains the largest emitter with 29% of domestic GHG emissions in 2023 (20% buildings, 14% industry, 12% agriculture, 11% electricity supply, 8% fuel supply and 5% waste).

In its updated NDC (2022), the UK aims to reduce its GHG emissions by 68% by 2030 from 1990 level, compared to 53% in the previous NDC. In 2021, the country set into law a new reduction target of 78% in 2035.