The UK’s net carbon emissions fell almost 10 % below 2013 levels in 2014, as generators switched from coal- to gas-fired power and consumer demand for electricity dropped, while the country’s greenhouse gas emissions as a whole fell 8.4 % in 2014 due to a decline in fossil-fuel power generation.

Preliiminary data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which reports regularly on climate change statistics, indicates that the fall largely resulted from a 15 % decrease in emissions from the energy supply sector as coal-fired generation fell and output from renewable power sources rose.
Emissions of GHGs fell to 520.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in 2014, down from 568.3 million tonnes in 2013. Emissions of carbon dioxide dropped 9.7 % to 422 million tonnes.
This trend gets the UK back on track to meet its climate change commitments after a disappointing 2013. UK greenhouse gas emissions fell by just under 2% in 2013, compared to 2.5 % for the EU as a whole, as less coal and gas was burned to generate electricity. But official figures revealed that despite a fall of 8% in 2011, increases in 2010 and 2012 meant that the UK’s carbon footprint was still roughly the same in 2013 as it was in 2009.

Renewables sourced electricity provided a record percentage of supply in the last quarter of 2014, reaching 22%. Onshore and offshore wind combined provided the biggest share of renewable electricity, at just under 12% of the total generated.

The statistics also confirmed that renewable electricity provided a record percentage of power in 2014, at 19.2%. Onshore and offshore wind made up nearly 50% of this total, with both seeing increases in the amount of power generated compared to 2013. The amount of onshore wind generated increased by 7.9% in 2014, and the amount of offshore wind was up 16.1%.

Commenting on the statistics, Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK, said
"Last year UK carbon emissions fell dramatically whilst the economy grew faster than it has in any year since 2007. This is further evidence, if it was needed, that efforts to cut carbon pollution and boost our economy can go hand in hand. And since a reduction in coal use was a crucial factor in bringing down CO2 emissions,  these figures give us a taste of what could be achieved if our political leaders got serious about phasing out the dirtiest of all fossil fuels and gave proper backing to clean energy. This should be a key learning for ministers as they prepare to set out their carbon reduction plans ahead of a crucial climate summit later in the year. "