UK air emission estimates for 1997

May 14, 1999 02:00 AM

DETR published 1997 emissions for greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, and a provisional 1998 estimate of total CO2 emissions, for the UK.
The key points to note are:

Greenhouse gas emissions
Emissions of the 'basket' of six greenhouse gases, weighted by global warming potential, fell by 9 % between 1990 and 1997.
To meet its commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, the UK has agreed to reduce emissions by 12.5 % relative to the 1990 level over the period 2008-2012.
Emissions of CO2 fell by 8 % between 1990 and 1997. The UK aims to move beyond its Kyoto target towards its goal of reducing emissions of CO2 by 20 % below 1990 levels by 2010.

1998 emissions of CO2 are provisionally estimated at 156 mm tonnes, about 1 % higher than in 1997 and 7 % lower than in 1990. The increase between 1997 and 1998 was mainly because of increased use of coal in power stations during 1998 to make up for reduced availability of imported electricity and of some CCGT and nuclear stations.

Air emissions
Emissions of all the main air pollutants and most heavy metals continued to decline in 1997 estimated emissions of benzene, hydrogen chloride and heavy metals are published for the first time
For most pollutants, the main sources of emissions are from fossil-fuel combustion and vehicles. Generally, fuel consumption-related emissions are estimated by applying an appropriate emission factor to statistics on annual fuel consumption. Data on fuel consumption are published annually in the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES).

A detailed analysis of the uncertainties in greenhouse gas emissions estimates has recently been published (Treatment of Uncertainties for National Estimates of Greenhouse Gas Emissions). It indicated that uncertainties in CO2 emissions estimates are "4 %, and in methane emissions, "15 to 20 %. The uncertainty in emissions of the 'basket' of six greenhouse gases weighted by global warming potential is about "20 %. For other air pollutants estimated accuracy's are as follows: sulphur dioxide "10 to 15 %; black smoke "20 to 25 %; nitrogen oxides "30 %; carbon monoxide "40 %; lead emissions from motor vehicles "10 to 15 %; NMVOC emissions "50 %. Although for any given year considerable uncertainties surround the emission estimates for each pollutant, trends over time are likely to be more reliable. UK national emission estimates are updated annually and any developments in methodology are applied retrospectively to earlier years. Adjustments in the methodology are made to accommodate new technical information and to improve international comparability.

IPCC and UNECE definitions
Estimates of greenhouse gas emissions are based on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines. However, data are only available on that basis from 1990. For analyses of longer time series the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) definition is used. IPCC includes land use change and all emissions from domestic aviation and shipping, but excludes international marine and aviation bunker fuels. UNECE excludes land use change and also international shipping in UK ports, but includes aviation emissions below 1,000 metres to cover take-off and landing cycles.

Source: M2 PressWire
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