Cement and landfill emissions down with UK total

The recession has cut the greenhouse gas emissions that come from some construction related activity, new statistics show.

Emissions from cement production have fallen by almost a third and methane released from landfill sites has dropped again for the nineteenth year in a row.

The impact of carbon-intensive cement production dropped dramatically, from 5.2 million to 3.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), as the recession took its toll on demand. It had been steady at around 6m since 2001.

Greenhouse gas emissions from landfill, to which construction contributes more than any other sector, fell from 16.4m to 15.9m tonnes of CO2e. It has however been falling steadily since the mid nineties and is half what it was in 1999. Landfill produces methane as waste decomposes in the ground.

Emissions due to land being developed into settlements fell slightly from 6.1 million to 6.0 million tonnes from 2008 to 2009.

The UK’s total emissions of greenhouse gases fell by 8.7%, from 620.5 million tonnes of CO2e in 2008 to 566.3 million in 2009.

The Department for Energy and Climate said that the fall was down to both the recession and more nuclear power being used instead of coal and gas.