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Cryptocurrencies: Carbon Emissions

Question for Treasury

UIN HL2660, tabled on 13 September 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the amount in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions that cryptocurrencies were responsible for in (1) the UK, and (2) the world, over the last 12 months.

Answered on

27 September 2021

The Government has been monitoring developments within the cryptoasset industry, including rising energy usage.

The Cryptoasset Taskforce, comprising HM Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Bank of England, considers the impact of cryptoassets and assesses what, if any, regulation is required in response. The Government stands ready to respond to emerging risks or changes in the market and will continue to monitor developments in cryptoassets.

In November 2020, the Chancellor announced that the UK will implement a green taxonomy – a common framework for determining which activities can be defined as environmentally sustainable – which will improve understanding of the impact of firms’ activities and investments on the environment and support our transition to a sustainable economy. More details on the green taxonomy will be announced in due course.

The Government has already taken action to ensure the UK is the world-leading centre for green finance including through announcing an intention to make disclosures aligned with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) fully mandatory across the economy by 2025, making the UK the first country to do so.

The Government is committed to upholding its pledge relating to the Paris Climate Agreement and have enacted a legally binding target to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Between 1990 and 2018, the UK reduced its emissions by 43% while growing the economy by 75% – the best performance in the G7 on a per person basis and will continually assess any emerging environmental threats.

Answered by

Treasury