While central government has been collecting data on emissions in each local authority area for several years, until now there has not been enough information to build up an accurate picture.

The figures, which are from 2006, show which areas are producing the most carbon per capita and highlight regional fluctuations in the share of the total from specific sources such as transport, industry and housing.

While Government has not yet said that this is its intention, the district-by-district recording of emissions paves the way to national league tables.

Climate Change Minister Phil Woolas said: “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.

“We are already beginning to see the fight against climate change becoming a part of our daily lives, and it is local authorities who are making this happen by putting infrastructure in place to make green actions the easy choice as well as the right choice.”

A breakdown of the figures shows that nationally almost half of our emissions come from commercial and industrial sources, while the remaining half is fairly evenly split between road transport and domestic sources.

In 2006, domestic emissions were less than two tonnes per person in one per cent of local authority areas, between two and 2.5 tonnes per person in 37%, between 2.5 and three tonnes per person in 52% and above three tonnes per person in nine per cent.

The official estimates of carbon dioxide emissions for the UK are produced on behalf of Defra and the Devolved Administrations by AEA consultants as part of the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory.

Sam Bond

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