Ninety-nine percent of the sulphur dioxide generated over the period 1970 to 1994 arose from the combustion of fossil fuels in the energy sector. The annual mass emission of sulphur dioxide has fallen by 58% over this period, due to the reductions in outputs from coal and petroleum fired plants. The influence of natural-gas power generation has played an important part in this reduction. Four major pieces of environmental legislation have been enacted to control sulphur-dioxide emissions: the Control of Pollution Act 1974, and three EEC Directives are discussed. The UK emissions in 1994 were 49% below the 1980 baseline and 9% ahead of the 1998 EU target level. The protocol on the reduction of sulphur-dioxide emissions, adopted in 1985, required a cut in the total SO2 emissions of 30% by 1993, based on 1980 levels. The UK achieved a reduction of 37% by the end of 1993. Sulphur-dioxide emissions are predicted to fall according to the six scenarios in Energy paper 65 as a reference case. The predicted decline is in line with the UNECE targets set for 2010.