UK's initial progress on carbon cutting starts to slow

The Guardian | March 04, 2019

UK's initial progress on carbon cutting starts to slow
The government has been warned against complacency on climate change action after figures showed a slowdown in the rate of Britain’s carbon emission cuts. Emissions dropped for the sixth year running in 2018, to 361m tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent, a level last seen in the late 19th century. But there are signs the country’s recent period of rapid progress is drawing to a close. The estimated 1.5% decline last year was considerably smaller than the 3.2% fall in 2017 and the 8.7% drop in 2014: the biggest in recent years.

Spotlight

At $439 billion, the 2015 deficit constituted the smallest since 2007, and at 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, it was below the average deficit (relative to the size of the economy) over the past 50 years. However, the large deficits recorded during the most recent recession and subsequent weak recovery substantially increased federal debt in 2015, debt reached 74 percent of GDP, slightly less than the ratio in 2014 but higher than in any other year since 1950. Such a high level of debt could have serious negative consequences for the nation, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a financial crisis.

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Spotlight

At $439 billion, the 2015 deficit constituted the smallest since 2007, and at 2.5 percent of gross domestic product, it was below the average deficit (relative to the size of the economy) over the past 50 years. However, the large deficits recorded during the most recent recession and subsequent weak recovery substantially increased federal debt in 2015, debt reached 74 percent of GDP, slightly less than the ratio in 2014 but higher than in any other year since 1950. Such a high level of debt could have serious negative consequences for the nation, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a financial crisis.