Basic UK energy and greenhouse gas statistics

The total UK greenhouse gas emissions per person per year are:
Tonnes CO2 or tonnes CO2 equivalentSource (year)
Total CO29.84see below
Methane 0.81[1] (2005)
Nitrous oxide 0.66 [1] (2005)
Hydrofluocarbons (HFCs) 0.15[1] (2005)
Perfluocarbons (PFCs)0.01[1] (2005)
Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)0.02[1] (2005)
Net imports (carbon trade balance)0.71[2]
Water transport 5.8MtC0.35[2]
Aviation (with RF allowance)0.86see aviation sources
Grand total13.41

The total CO2 emissions in the UK are 9.84 tonnes per person per year, of which the components are:
Primary demand (million toe) [3]Per person (MWh)MWh to tonnes CO2CO2 (tonnes)
Natural gas92.717.790.1853.29
Petroleum (excl non-energy use)78.114.990.2453.67

Electricity generation from fossil fuels is from:
Fuel used (million toe) [3]Per person (MWh)MWh to tonnes CO2CO2 (tonnes)
Coal 35.96.890.3222.22

Fossil fuel use is:
Fuel used (million toe) [3]Per person (MWh)MWh to tonnes CO2CO2 (tonnes)
Natural gas66.112.690.1852.35

The UK population mid-2006 was 60.6 million [4]

The average household size in 2003-4 was 2.4 people [5].

Abbreviations and conversions

KWh: Kilowatt hour
Mt: million tonnnes
MWh: Megawatt hour = 1000 KWh
toe: tonnes oil equivalent

Carbon to CO2: multiply by 3.67 (via atomic weights of 12 and 16)

Net versus Gross Calorific Value:
The Act On CO2 calculator uses Net CV factors rather than Gross [6]


[1]Bridging Table IPCC vs. Environmental Account (downloaded 10.2.08)
[2]Carbon Trust (2006) The carbon emissions generated in all that we consume or
[3]BERR Energy Trends December 2007 or
[4]National Statistics (viewed 9.2.08)
[5]National Statistics TABLE 15A (Appendix 1): Household characteristics of quintile groups of ALL households, 2003-04
[6]DEFRA (2007) Act on CO2 Calculator: Public Trial Version Data, Methodology and Assumptions Paper or

First published: 2008
Last updated: 4 Aug 2021