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Lessons from a rich country that cut carbon emissions in half

Lessons from a rich country that cut carbon emissions in half

oh UK It became the first major economy on the planet to halve its emissions of carbon dioxide, the main gas responsible for global warming.

According to data released by the government, emissions fell by 50% between 1990 and 2022, while its economy grew by 79%.

For comparison purposes, France achieved a 23% reduction in emissions over the same period.

According to Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho, this puts the European country on track for zero emissions by 2050.

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The Paris Agreement has set a goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is considered safe for controlling climate change.

For the United States, the situation is even worse, as the most industrialized country on the planet has maintained the same level of air pollution since 1990.

A multi-pronged strategy is responsible for the UK's success in reducing carbon emissions.

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The first pillar is due to the transformation of the energy matrix.

Since the early 2000s, the United Kingdom has started switching to coal as fuel for its power stations.

For example, in 2012, this highly polluting fuel provided 40% of the electricity consumed by Britons.

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But in 2024 this value will decrease to zero.

Instead of coal, the British government began to invest heavily in renewable energy-based power generation.

Today, wind, solar and hydropower plants generate 40% of national electricity. This percentage is significantly higher than in 2010, when only 7% of clean energy needs were met.

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Apart from government investment, the private sector also has strong investments in the renewable generation sector.

Since September, companies in the power sector have announced investments of around 30 billion pounds, or 190 billion rais, in clean electricity.

“We will cut emissions by 68% by 2030, more than any country in the EU, Japan and the US,” says Claire Coutinho, secretary of energy security.

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The UK's targets include making electricity generation 100% clean by 2035.

And produce 80% of new cars with zero emissions by 2030 and capture and store 20 to 30 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030.

Finally, install 600,000 electric heaters in homes by 2028.

A power plant in LP, England: wind energy and biomass to reduce emissions (Getty/Getty Images)