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UK carbon emissions fall for sixth year in a row, analysis suggests

By Emily Beament, Press Association Environment Correspondent

The UK's carbon dioxide emissions fell for the sixth year in a row last year, the longest continuous run of reductions on record, analysis suggests.

Emissions fell to 361 million tonnes, their lowest level since 1888, when the first Football League match was played and Jack the Ripper stalked London's streets, excluding years with major strike action.

The amount of carbon pollution per person was 5.4 tonnes, the lowest it has been since 1858, the analysis by energy and climate website Carbon Brief indicates.

But 2018 saw the smallest fall in the series of emissions reductions since 2012, suggesting the run may be coming to an end.

Carbon Brief estimates emissions were down 1.5% on 2017 levels, largely the result of a continued decline in the use of coal for electricity generation, with little change in oil or gas use.

Newly-released figures from the Business and Energy Department (Beis) show only 6% of UK electricity supplies came from coal in 2018.

The Carbon Brief analysis is based on the energy use figures from Beis, which will publish its own estimates for carbon emission reductions at the end of March.

The analysis found emissions were down 39% on 1990 levels, the baseline year for carbon pollution cuts.

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