Fossil fuels like coal and gas produce most of our energy.
We're hooked - and this addiction is costing us. Our fuel bills are sky-high and climate change is accelerating.
The UK's biggest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) is burning fossil fuels - like coal, gas and oil - in power stations.
About 40% of the UK's emissions come from this sector.
Old coal-fired power stations produce more CO2 than gas ones.
Dash for gas
In the 1990s companies built lots of gas-fired stations to take advantage of cheap gas discovered in the North Sea.
The switch from coal to gas meant a sudden drop in emissions.
But we're still using far too much coal to meet our electricity needs.
And since 2000, emissions from power stations have barely fallen.
Full of hot air
Gas maybe cleaner than coal but it's certainly not clean. The carbon footprint of gas is much bigger than that of renewable energy.
And it's not cheap any more for two reasons:
- More people are using it - global demand has increased.
- The UK is running out of gas - we now import 35% of the gas we need.
Globally there is still huge investment in fossil fuels.
Did you know?
In 2008 the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC) increased funding for fossil fuels by 102% compared with only 11% for new renewables.
Bretton Woods Project
But fossil fuels aren't the only dirty fuel out there.