Recession causes drop in carbon emissions

Global carbon emissions fell slightly in 2009, largely due to the recession, but researchers have warned they are likely to rise again.

Analysis by the Global Carbon Project shows a 1.3 per cent drop in emissions from fossil fuels on the previous year; well below the predicted 3 per cent fall.

Lead researcher Pierre Friedlingstein, of the University of Exeter, commented: “Based on GDP projections last year, we were expecting much more [of a drop].

“If you think about it, it’s like four days’ worth of emissions; it’s peanuts.”

The figures show that while developed nations broadly saw their carbon emissions fall- 8.6 per cent in the UK– this was mitigated by the continued growth in emissions from those developing nations with a significant industrial output such as China (8 per cent) and India (6.2 per cent).

The Government said the drop in UK emissions was largely due to the recession, which saw an overall reduction in demand for electricity together with lower fossil fuel consumption from businesses and households.

Researchers say the results indicate that, after the recession, emissions levels are likely to return to the 3 per cent a year growth seen previously.

The Carbon Reduction Department of commercial recycler and social welfare charity, Recycling Lives, is working to reduce the carbon emissions from domestic and commercial properties old and new across the UK.

The department provides a complete carbon reduction solution ranging from initial consultancy to the supply of energy efficient products and materials.

Recycling Lives Carbon Reduction Manager, Steve Lauri, said: “While any drop in carbon emissions is welcome, it is vital that we do everything we can to ensure that emission levels do not return to the growth seen before the recession.

“Recycling Lives, like the Coalition Government, envisions a greener and more sustainable Britain and is working hard towards meeting and exceeding Britain’s emission reduction targets.”