Bleached Brain Coral, Hol Chan Reserve, Belize. C.Paxton photo and copyright.

Carbon dioxide has been linked to higher temperatures that can kill marine coral through ‘bleaching’. Bleached Brain Coral, Hol Chan Reserve, Belize. C.Paxton photo and copyright.

Department of Energy and Climate Change Minister, Rt. Hon. Ed Davey MP released news on their blog today (Source) that “UK CO2 emissions fell by nearly 10% in 2014, while the UK economy grew at well over 2% annual growth. This represents the largest ever fall in UK emissions while the economy is growing, turning low carbon growth into a modern reality in Britain.”

Having recently agreed the EU’s climate pledge for the Paris climate summit to be held this December, Davey says “the UK government has made the first climate pledge from any of the world’s major economies and sets the bar of ambition high.”  How high?

 

“A domestic emissions reduction target of at least 40% by 2030.” 

He rightly describes this goal as ambitious, and it could be within scope when you consider progress made so far.

According to DECC the largest proportion of the CO2 savings were due to increases in efficiency within the energy supply sector, represented by a 15% drop in their emissions, this was coupled with a 20% increase in renewable energy generation, greater energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy and low carbon power increasing to become 38% of the energy mix.

Unabated use of coal, “the most polluting and carbon intensive form of energy production” fell by more than 25% according to the blog.

Mr. Davey says “the UK is well on course to meet our national GHG targets, and to phase out unabated coal power almost entirely by the mid-2020s.”

 

He said that a recent joint party statement will guarantee that “the UK will remain a leading voice for ambitious climate action and for driving unabated coal emissions out of our energy system.”

He elaborated on the collective European agreement to create an Energy Union for Europe, “which will make it cheaper and easier to decarbonise our economies by enabling low carbon power to flow freely across national borders in the future. And we are actively working closely with our partners in Europe to substantially strengthen the EU’s Emissions Trading System, a critical tool for driving investments away from polluting fossil fuels and towards low carbon technologies.”

The Paris Conference on Climate sounds very promising, Davey says, “France is showing the leadership the world needs to ensure that the Paris Climate Summit this December delivers something extraordinary: the world’s first genuinely global climate agreement.”

Wildopeneye is very pleased by the sense of growing momentum within European efforts to ameliorate climate change.