Green ratings of cities revealed

People living in Winchester are having the most impact on the environment, according to a new league table of UK cities.

The southern city came bottom of WWF’s table of the 60 mainland cities in England, Scotland and Wales, with its residents consuming an average of 3.62 planets.

However, Plymouth and Newport jointly topped the table with a footprint equivalent to just 2.78 planets.

Researchers drew up the table after examining eight different areas of city lifestyles, including housing, transport, food, and spending on consumer items.

They found that richer cities tended to have larger footprints because the residents spent more on their homes and cars and luxuries such as eating out.

London had the second lowest transport footprint in England, due to its big public transport network, low levels of car ownership and policies to discourage large, polluting cars.

Colin Butfield, head of campaigns for WWF, said: “The battle for the environment will be won or lost in our cities.

“They have the highest potential for eco-living due to local facilities, public transport links, dense housing and shared public resources.

“While all cities and city dwellers could do more to reduce their impact on the environment, there are some great examples of good practice on areas such as transport and housing around the UK.”

Mr Butfield added: “However, even the most green city resident can, on average, only reduce their footprint by one third – moving from a UK average of a three-planet lifestyle to a two planet lifestyle.

“This clearly indicates that the one-planet challenge is not just about consumers – government and business must also play their part to avoid the most devastating impacts on the environment.”

Glasgow was the greenest Scottish city, while Edinburgh only managed to reach number 50 in the table.

In Wales, Newport had the lowest footprint while Bangor had the highest.

Kate Martin

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