UK households cut their carbon emissions by 33 million tonnes during the 2020 lockdown

UK households have reduced their carbon emissions by an estimated 33 million tonnes in 2020 as people spend less during the pandemic, according to one report.

According to the report of the Center for Economics and Business Studies, some of the biggest factors behind the 10% decrease in the amount of CO2 produced by the household consumption of goods and services were reduced spending on dining out, transportation and clothing. consultants says Accenture.

The South East of England produced more emissions per household than anywhere else in the UK – 13% higher than the national average.

The 33 million-ton reduction is equivalent to more than one tonne per household, the same amount of carbon produced by an average of seven million cars each year.

Accenture’s annual UK Carbon Consumption Index – the first of its kind to look at how the country’s consumption habits play a role in changing carbon emissions – shows household energy consumption is increasing as people spend more time at home, but more renewable energy in the production mix means that. electricity-related emissions have fallen.

Gas and electricity consumption continued to be the largest source of household emissions, with a share of 43%.

The biggest reduction in carbon emissions was due to reduced transportation spending as people stayed at home, reducing the weekly emissions of the average household in this category by 23% to 39kg.

The second biggest reason was the decrease in spending especially on restaurants and hotels, and emissions from this category were reduced by 53% to 7 kg of carbon per week.

Peter Lacy, Accenture’s chief accountability officer, said: “While the pandemic has forced much of this consumption change, it has shown how much of an impact individual households can make in reducing their carbon emissions.

“But it’s not all up to consumers. Businesses also have an important role to play by accelerating innovation – finding ways to design, manufacture and supply net zero products and services, and educating consumers about ‘greener’ options on the shelf.

“As we approach Cop26, the increasing pressure for businesses to incorporate sustainability into their operations and reduce the carbon intensity of goods and services is not going away. Only by working together – across business, society and government – ​​can we achieve our net-zero goals.”

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