Headlines: September 19th, 2008

The extent to which local councils have taken up the challenge of fighting climate change is shown in new statistics for Carbon Dioxide emissions at Local Authority and Government Office Region level. The figures – published as full national statistics for the first time – represent all UK emissions allocated to Local Authority areas on an end-user basis, incorporating all business, household and transport emissions,

These figures, based on returns for 2006, are the first to be released without the ‘experimental’ tag so they allow a meaningful year on year comparison of CO2 emissions in local areas for the first time. It follows that the under the terms of the National Statistics Code of Practice these results are now of sufficiently high quality to be regarded as reliable for operational and policy use.

Climate Change Minister Phil Woolas said local authorities had risen to the challenge of climate change with a widespread commitment to include climate change targets in their Local Area Agreements. “Climate change is a global issue, but the only way to fight it effectively is if people make positive choices and work together to make a difference in their local community. Local Authorities are not only ideally placed to enable this positive work, but also, through their own hard work and dedication, are able to set a good example through their own actions,” he said.

The statistics attribute emissions to end users so that, for example, CO2 created by a power plant is assigned to the users of the electricity and not to the plant. They show that overall, 46 per cent of end-user emissions assigned to local authority areas were attributed to the industrial and commercial sector, 29 per cent to the domestic sector, and 25 per cent to road transport. Domestic end-user emissions in 2006 were less than two tonnes per person in just one per cent of council areas. In more than half of the areas they were between 2.5 and 3 tonnes per person and rose above 3 tonnes in nine per cent of cases