Carbon dioxide emissions fell by more than a tenth last year, according to provisional figures from the Business Department (Beis).
Its statistics show that overall greenhouse gases fell 8.9% in 2020 compared to 2019 and carbon dioxide, which makes up the lion’s share of emissions, was down 10.7% year-on-year.
The large fall in 2020 was primarily down to a major reduction in the use of road transport and falls in business activity during the nationwide lockdowns to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, reports the Evening Standard.
Carbon dioxide pollution from transport fell by nearly a fifth (19.6%) in 2020, the figures show, while business sector emissions were down 8.7% on the previous year.
But at the same time emissions from the residential sector rose slightly, by just under 2%, as people stayed home more, in many cases working from home.
The figures also show that carbon dioxide emissions from the energy supply sector fell by almost 12% due to lower demand in the pandemic and continued falls in using fossil fuels to generate electricity in power stations.