Climate change is significant concern around the globe. So what do the UK climate change statistics reveal about the situation?

UK Climate Change Statistics

  1. The UK has produced around 3% of total human-caused CO2. (Carbon Brief)
  2. 2020 was the third warmest, fifth wettest and eighth sunniest on record for the UK. (Met Office)
  3. Since 2018, there have been over 4,000 heat-related deaths in England. (UKGBC)
  4. Coningsby in Lincolnshire recorded the UK’s new record-high temperature (40.3C) in July 2022. (Met Office)
  5. All the top-ten warmest years for the UK since 1884 have happened since 2002. (Met Office)
  6. Since records began in 1862, six of the UK’s ten wettest years occurred in the years after 1998. (Met Office)
  7. The average growing season has increased by 29 days in the past decade compared to 1961. (Met Office)
  8. The UK has pledged to reduce its emissions by 68% by 2030. (Wikipedia)

Climate Change & Weather

  1. The decade from 2011 to 2020 was 1.1C warmer than the 1961 to 1990 average. (Met Office)
  2. The last decade was 9% wetter than the 1961 to 1990 average. (Met Office)
  3. The average sea-surface temperature in 2020 was 11.9C, 0.5C above the 1981-2010 long-term average. (Met Office)
  4. The sea level rise has accelerated in recent years; during 1993-2019, sea levels rose over 3mm per year. (Met Office)
  5. 75% of English groundwaters passed as ‘good’ in 2019 for water quantitative tests, with 45% passing as ‘good’ in the chemical (qualitative) test. (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs)
  6. Temperatures above 30C for two or more days trigger a public-health warning, and in the 1990s, this happened about once every four years in South England; by the 2070s, these could occur 16 times more often. (BBC)

Climate Change & Emissions

  1. Household emissions from heating and travelling have been the largest contributor since 2015. (ONS)
  2. In 2020, the most prominent industries contributing the most greenhouse gasses (GHG) were energy supply, manufacturing and transport and storage, accounting for 70% of emissions. (ONS)
  3. GHG emissions from fossil fuels decreased by 43% from 1990 to 2021. (ONS)
  4. GHG emissions from gas as a proportion of all GHG emissions from fossil fuels increased by 26% in 1990 to 55% in 2021, whilst coal decreased from 39% in 1990 to 3% in 2020. (ONS)
  5. In 2020, coal met 3% of energy demands, while renewable energy catered for 16%. (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy)
  6. The use of nuclear energy declined between 1998 and 2022, with 46% less power coming from nuclear. (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy)
  7. Territorial net GHG emissions were a little over 400 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020, a reduction of 9.5% to 2019. (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy)
  8. GHG emissions increased by 6% in 2021 due to the removal of COVID-19 restrictions. (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy)

UK Attitudes Towards Climate Change

  1. A 2021 survey found that 80% of UK residents had some concern about climate change, with 4% of respondents saying they have no concern at all. (Statista)
  2. Around 8 in 10 women said they were very or somewhat concerned about climate change, a statistically higher proportion than men. (ONS)
  3. 77% of adults said they had made some or a lot of changes to their lifestyle to help tackle climate change; 7 in 10 women and 6 in 10 men. (ONS)