Headlines: September 18th, 2009

The government has issued data showing carbon emissions for each local authority area in the UK and said that councils are key to addressing climate change. According to the figures the UK’s overall CO2 emissions dropped by 2% between 2005 and 2007, and emissions have fallen in 335 out of the 434 local authorities in the UK.

Energy and Climate Change Minister, David Kidney said “I am very encouraged by the results. Every community in the country is working to cut their carbon footprint. Local Authorities are at the heart of the community and as such can help in setting an example on tackling climate change through their own actions. “With only 80 days left to secure a global deal at the crucial climate talks in Copenhagen, action here at home has never been more important to show the world what we can do.”

His comments were echoed by Local Government Association Chair Cllr Margaret Easton who described councils as having a vital role and being “on the frontline in the fight against climate change”. But she called for more support from government, saying: “A single national home insulation scheme, stamp duty relief for all new houses that meet the highest current energy saving standards and more help for remote rural areas to cut energy use are just some of the things councils want to see in order to cut carbon emissions even further.”

The figures held few surprises, with urban and industrial areas showing higher total carbon emissions, while per capita figures were affected by population size. Overall, 46 per cent of end-user emissions were attributed to the industrial and commercial sector, 28 per cent to the domestic sector, and 26 per cent to road transport.

Redcar and Cleveland’s table topping 62.5 tonnes per person contributed to the North East of England recording the highest emissions per person at an average 12.5 tonnes. However, the region also recorded the lowest total emissions for an English region: 32 million tonnes, compared to 65 million in the South East. Meanwhile, the highest total emissions for a local authority area were in Wales’ Neath Port Talbot, where the figure rose to just over 8.3 million tonnes.

Greater London recorded the lowest CO2 emissions per person at 6 tonnes, with residents in Hackney, Redbridge and Waltham Forest sharing out just 4.2 tonnes each.