Mitigation: reducing carbon emissions

Pollution and emissionsThe majority of the UK’s emissions (85% in 2011) arise from our production and consumption of energy – whether that’s driving cars, manufacturing goods or simply boiling a kettle.  Emissions can be lowered by becoming energy efficient and by switching to low-carbon fuels. Both will be necessary to meet UK carbon targets, along with action to tackle non-energy emissions.



Energy Efficiency

Being energy efficient doesn’t mean going without a warm and well-lit home or making big sacrifices. Many energy efficiency measures are low cost and even save money.  Whether on a large-scale, or at the individual level, there are many opportunities to save energy through better insulation, more efficient boilers and appliances, using heating controls and lights more efficiently.

Switching to low-carbon fuels

But even the most efficient modern economy will need to contend with significant energy demand.  So it’s essential to progress towards an energy system based on fuels with low, or no-carbon, content (de-carbonisation). This means moving away from using conventional coal and gas-fired power to electricity generated from nuclear power, renewable sources, and new technologies such as carbon capture and storage.

What can be done

There are two principal ways of reducing the UK's emissions. Find out more about:

How the UK is progressing

Gas plant

The CCC tracks the latest emissions data against carbon budgets to assesses if the UK is on course to meet its targets. This is reported annually to Parliament.

Carbon Budgets and targets

The Climate Change Act established a target for the UK to reduce its emissions by 2050. To ensure that regular progress is made the Act also established a system of five-yearly carbon budgets to serve as stepping stones on the way.

Energy affordability & competitiveness

In providing advice on the levels of carbon budgets for the UK, the CCC is required to consider implications for fuel poverty and economic competitiveness.