The UK’s carbon emissions have fallen to about the same level as 1894 – the year Karl Benz patented the first petrol-powered car – according to a new analysis.
According to the Carbon Brief website, the amount of carbon dioxide sent into the atmosphere last year totalled 381 million tonnes, compared to 382 million tonnes in 1894, after coal emissions slumped by more than 50 per cent.
Only 1921 and 1926 – when industrial unrest reduced economic activity – saw lower levels in the intervening years.
Last year was also the first in which windfarms produced more electricity than coal-fired power plants in the UK.
However Dr Simon Evans, Carbon Brief’s policy editor, said the figures were no reason for the UK to become complacent about its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Almost all the progress in recent years is down to the power sector,” he said.
“There’s been no progress or even regression on emissions …