(In fourth-last paragraph, corrects date of EU emissions data
release to April 1)
* Carbon dioxide emissions fell 2.1 pct last year, govt says
* Energy supply contributed 38 pct of 2013 emissions
By Susanna Twidale
LONDON, March 27 Britain's greenhouse gas
emissions fell 1.9 percent in 2013 due to a decline in
fossil-fuel power generation, preliminary government data showed
Output of the heat-trapping gases in Europe's second-largest
emitter dipped to 569.9 million tonnes compared to 581.1 million
tonnes in 2012, data from the Department of Energy and Climate
Change (DECC) showed.
Carbon dioxide (CO2), the main greenhouse gas blamed for
climate change, accounted for 82 percent of 2013 emissions and
fell 2.1 percent to 464.3 million tonnes.
The bulk of Britain's emissions, some 38 percent, came from
energy supply, followed by transport at 25 percent, residential
at 17 percent and business at 16 percent. The rest came from
sectors including agriculture and waste management.
DECC said the overall fall largely resulted from an 8
percent decrease in emissions from electricity generation,
spurred by a 9 percent reduction in coal use and a 7 percent
fall in gas use.
Data published in February showed overall UK power
generation fell 2 percent to 321.60 terawatt-hours in 2013.
Coal-fired power generation is a big contributor to
greenhouse gas emissions because burning the fuel produces
almost double the amount of CO2 than gas-fired generation.
British utilities are major buyers of carbon permits under
the European Union's Emissions Trading System, which requires
big emitters to surrender one permit for every tonne of carbon
dioxide (CO2) they emit each year.
However, the fall in emissions is unlikely to mean Britain's
carbon permit demand declined in 2013. An ETS rule change from
January 2013 means most EU utilities received no free allowances
last year and must pay in full for the scheme's 2013-2020 phase.
On April 1, the European Commission will grant access to
2013 CO2 figures for the near 12,000 installations covered by
the EU ETS, which account for around 45 percent of the bloc's
greenhouse gas emissions.
The data release is an important date in the EU carbon
market's calendar as it gives a glimpse of the overall
demand-supply balance for EU emission permits.
Britain has a legally binding target to cut its CO2
emissions by 2050 to 80 percent below 1990 levels.
UK emissions have so far fallen 21 percent since 1990, DECC
(Editing by Dale Hudson)