CO2 emissions rise in 97% of local authorities

Out of the 406 local authorities in the UK 394 have recorded an increase in CO2 emissions between 2009 and 2010, according to statistics by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The statistics also showed that just 12 local authorities recorded a decrease in CO2 emissions during the period. This is the reverse of the result reported between 2008 and 2009, when emissions decreased in almost all local authorities, with only four authorities reporting increases.

By sector, the results showed that in 366 local authorities, which accounts for 90% of all authorities in the UK, there was an increase in CO2 emissions from the industrial and commercial sector between 2009 and 2010.

For the domestic sector, every single local authority experienced an increase in emissions between 2009 and 2010, which is a significant difference to results between 2008 and 2009, when emissions decreased in every authority.

Looking into why emissions increased, a spokesperson from the DECC told edie: “The increase in emissions can be evenly attributed to the domestic, and industrial and commercial sectors. All local authorities in the domestic sector, and 90% of the local authorities in the industrial and commercial sector, experienced an increase in emissions.

“There are two reasons for this increase. Firstly, there was an increase in the use of natural gas. Emissions, particularly from the domestic sector, are heavily influenced by external temperatures.

“On average, 2010 was the coldest year since 1987. This caused an increase in demand for space heating in 2010, which resulted in a significant increase in emissions from gas use.

“Secondly, emissions from the use of electricity are determined by the fuel mix used by power stations. In 2010, this increase mainly resulted from less nuclear power used at power stations, and increase in the combustion of the more carbon intensive fossil fuels of coal and gas.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie