The Anonymous Widower

How UK Carbon Emissions Tumbled

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on I News.

This is the first paragraph.

Amid the doom and gloom, there is thankfully one piece of good news today. The amount of carbon dioxide the UK pumps into the atmosphere through its power generators, car exhausts, wood burners and industry has dived by 38 per cent since 1990. A statistic that’s even more impressive when you consider the population has grown by nearly 10 million during that period.

So how has this happened?

  • The reduction in the number of coal-fired power stations.
  • We are using less energy, because of more efficient electrical equipment and devices.
  • There is less heavy engineering.

Let’s hope this downward trend continues.


February 4, 2019 - Posted by | World | ,


  1. The need to cut carbon emissions is now even more urgent. This could be achieved by:
    Building onshore wind again, the ban on the cheapest form of Renewable Energy is plainly stupid.
    Invest heavily in Tidal power, the EU backed EMEC projects are showing massive potential but UK investment needs to be in Billions not millions. This could provide huge amounts of work for UK shipyards and provide a solid base of power that could potentially eliminate the need for peak power coal and gas powered power stations and come online much quicker than Hinckley or Sizewell.
    Invest in large battery arrays near wind and solar farms, again to provide peak power.
    Switch from ICEV’s to BEV’s not on a 1:1 basis as that just continues carmageddon.The potential for electric buses to cut Bus Operator overheads should make more buses a sensible choice again.
    A massive investment in Active Travel to replace the majority of short car trips with trips by foot, cycle and ebike. The potential upside for retail shops is reason enough, but the potential NHS savings are a bonus.
    Reduce consumption of red meat and dairy products.
    Electrify all rail main line and suburban routes and on rural routes where this is not practical, switch to Battery operation recharged at stops by induction charging.
    Making every new house with a south facing roof, have enough solar panels to be self sufficient on sunny days.
    Build new rail lines such as Oxford to Cambridge to eliminate freight going through London.

    and probably many many more.

    None of this need cost as much as HS2, Hinckley Point or Sizewell and the benefits would be clean and long lasting.

    Comment by Tim Regester | February 4, 2019 | Reply

    • I agree with a lot that you say.

      For a few weeks in the early 1970s I worked with Frederick Snow and Partners on project management.

      One of the guys gave me a briefing on a Severn Barrage.

      More details are here.

      I had two letters in The Times about the plan.

      If I remember correctly, it would have cost a billion pounds and would have generated a tenth of our electricity.

      The other thing we should do is built the electricity link to Iceland.

      I disagree with electrifying all rail routes, as I believe that battery trains with innovative chargers in stations can cover nearly all of the UK rail network. Electrification has so many problems in the UK, like bad knowledge of what is in the ground, the disruption is causes during construction and objections by local Nimbys.

      The biggest need is for an innovative freight locomotive to replace all the dirty diesels. I have a feeling that Stadler and Rail Operations Group, may well have gone someway with the Class 93 locomotive.

      Comment by AnonW | February 4, 2019 | Reply

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