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Carbon Emissions

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 15th February 2017.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are (1) the amounts of CO2 produced, and (2) the targets adopted to reduce carbon emissions, by (a) the UK, (b) India, (c) China, and (d) the USA.

Photo of Lord Prior of Brampton Lord Prior of Brampton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The UK’s emissions in 2015 were 496 MtCO2e. This is 38% lower than 1990 and 4% below those in 2014. Carbon dioxide (CO2) accounted for 81% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 (404MtCO2) (BEIS Greenhouse Gas Emissions Statistics).

Countries submit Biennial Update Reports to the UNFCCC on their emissions. According to their most recent reports, emissions were as follows:

  • India - in 2010 India's net greenhouse gas emissions were 1900 MtCO2e, of which CO2 emissions accounted for 1600 MtCO2.
  • China - in 2012 China's net greenhouse gas emissions were 11300 MtCO2e, of which CO2 emissions accounted for 9800 MtCO2.
  • The USA - in 2013 the USA's net greenhouse gas emissions were 5800 MtCO2e, of which CO2 emissions accounted for 5500 MtCO2.

Under the Climate Change Act, the UK has a legally binding 2050 target to reduce emissions by at least 80% on 1990 levels. The Fifth Carbon Budget (covering 2028-32) was passed into law on 21 July 2016. This budget is set in line with the recommendation of our independent advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, at 1,725 MtCO2e, equivalent to a 57% reduction on 1990 levels.

As set out in the Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement the targets for India, China and the USA are as follows:

  • India has committed to reducing the carbon intensity of GDP by 33-35% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
  • China has committed to reducing the carbon intensity of GDP by 60-65% by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.
  • The USA has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% by 2025, compared to 2005 levels. The US Mid Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonisation envisages emissions reductions of 80% by 2050, compared to 2005 levels.

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