The voice of the energy industry

Energy and our environment

Ten years on from the passing of the 2008 Climate Change Act, the power sector has led the way in the decarbonisation of our economy, making huge steps forward in reducing emissions and accelerating clean growth.

Since the passing of the Act:

  • The use of coal has fallen drastically from providing 33% of all electricity generated in 2008 to just 7% in 2017;
  • Electricity from low carbon sources has increased from 20% when the Act became law to 51% now, with renewables representing 30%;
  • England’s renewable capacity grew almost tenfold from 2,618 MW in 2008 to 25,801 MW in 2017;
  • The power sector has cut its emissions by more than half over the last ten years which has meant the majority of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions have come from the power sector;
  • And there are now almost 400,000 low carbon job across the country - and the sector is growing.

Energy UK has marked the anniversary of the Act by publishing a ten-point action plan setting out how the UK can continue as a world leader in tackling climate change.

Energy UK’s ten-point action plan sets out areas where the industry and government can work together to continue and accelerate the UK’s progress in tackling climate change – such as rolling out a national energy efficiency programme, enabling other sectors like transport and heating to similarly slash emissions and ensuring that all low carbon sources, including the cheapest, can play a full role in further decarbonising the power sector.                         

Energy UK is also publishing ‘Energy and our Environment – a publication of essays in which leading politicians, scientists, academics and regulators as well as figures from the energy sector and environmental groups offer their different perspectives reflect on how the Climate Change Act came into force, its influence in effecting the power sector’s transformation and the challenges that lie ahead both for the UK and the rest of the world.

We also spoke to a group of ten year olds to ask them their views on energy and the environment. Hear their thoughts here.

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