Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions dropped by 5.8% last year thanks to coal use plummeting by a record 52%.

The UK’s emissions are now sitting at 36% below 1990 levels, according to analysis by the Carbon Brief website.

While emissions from coal fell, carbon dioxide output from burning gas climbed by 12.5%, while oil’s emissions rose by 1.6%.

Carbon Brief’s analysis comes ahead of the official Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) figures, which are due to be released on 30 March.

Bigger falls than during miners’ strikes

The website said: “Coal use had already reached record lows in 2014 and then again in 2015.

“Last year set another record low, with demand halving to 18 million tonnes.

“The 52% drop was the largest recorded in percentage terms. It outstrips even years with miners’ strikes in 1921,1926 and 1984, when coal use fell by around 30% before rebounding a year later.”

> Read Carbon Brief's analysis in full