Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions dropped 8.9% in 2020 as COVID-19 curbed economic activity

Britain’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions dropped by 8.9% in 2020, triggered by a slump in economic activity owing to stringent measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, provisional government data showed.

The UK government’s measures over the past year to control the deadly virus shut down large parts of the economy, leading to reduced power demand and lesser number of cars on the road.

“This large fall in 2020 is primarily due to the large reduction in the use of road transport during the nationwide lockdowns and the reduction in business activity,” the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said.

Notably, the largest emissions drop came in the transport sector, where CO2 emissions fell by almost 20% year-on-year.