Rise in UK carbon footprint

Rise in UK carbon footprint


The UK’s carbon footprint, determined by all the greenhouse gases generated by UK consumption, increased slightly between 2012 and 2013, says latest data.


The data gathered combined the emission of greenhouse gases produced from foreign imports consumed in the UK, with emissions produced by domestic manufacturing and household energy use.


Representing a 3% rise overall from 2012 to 2013, the figures are down from their peak in 2007 when they were 19% higher, with nearly 1.3  billion tonnes of greenhouse gases produced that year.


Statistics from Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), include the emissions produced from foreign exports with domestic manufacturing to highlight the wider impact made by the UK’s energy habits and how they contribute to climate change as a whole.


The emissions from foreign imports were at 582m tonnes in 2013, making up over half of the UK’s carbon footprint (55%). This is a 7% increase from 2012 but still 22% lower than 2007. Goods imported from China contributed a large amount, peaking again in 2007 but remaining 112% higher in 2013 than 1997.


The figures show domestic energy use from heating homes has remained stagnant for nearly a decade, dropping by 8% after 1997 but remaining much the same ever since.


Compared to 1997, the greenhouse gases produced from domestic manufacturing dropped by over a quarter in 2013.

Road emissions rose in the decade between 1997 and 2007 but have declined since and are now at levels similar to that of 20 years ago.

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