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Weekly column by EUA's Chief Executive Mike Foster

It's about this time each year that the UK Government publishes Greenhouse Gas Emission final figures, this time for 2014. They make for interesting reading given the legal commitment for an 80 per cent reduction from 1990 figures to be achieved by 2050 and the recent COP 21 in Paris. Overall, total GHG emissions have fallen by 35 per cent between 1990 and 2014. The conclusion is that the UK is on track to meet the Second Carbon Budget (2013-17 emissions). So far so good.

For our sector, energy supply (power generation) is down 41 per cent, mainly due to the phasing out of coal and replacing it with gas. For the residential sector, GHG emissions are down 20 per cent from 1990 levels and 29 per cent down from their peak in 2000. Higher external temperatures, DECC conclude; have led to reduced energy consumption - who would have thought that? But improved product efficiency has also played its part in reducing demand.

Overall, residential heat accounts for 12 per cent of overall UK GHG emissions and power generation 31 per cent. Agriculture accounts for 9 per cent and transport 23 per cent. The story is not so good here. Since 1990, transport GHG emissions have fallen by just 3 per cent. And here is my link, and plug for EUA.

Two weeks ago, EUA tendered and won the bid to run the Natural Gas Vehicle Network. They will become the sixth division of our organisation from April. I'm thrilled with this outcome, as I genuinely believe that gas powered vehicles (in this case HGVs and buses) offer considerable carbon emission reductions over diesel. The estimates I have seen range from 10 to 30 per cent reductions on a well-to-wheel basis. Given that 20 per cent of the total transport sector GHG emissions come from the UK's 208,000 HGVs, there is a real opportunity to make in-roads in tackling what up to now is a dire performance from the transport sector regarding reductions in GHG emissions. Just as an aside, gas also offers a 40 per cent fuel cost saving compared to diesel, so time to get on board.

Best wishes, 

Mike Foster 

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