Southerners’ homes are worst environmental offenders

The south east of England is the worst offending region for greenhouse gas emissions, contributing nearly a sixth of the UK's total, a recent report has shown.

Households in the UK are responsible for approximately 612.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year based on figures from 2001, according to the report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

South easterly homes chugged out around 94.6 million tonnes of ozone damaging greenhouse gases from emissions arising from both UK households themselves and the products used within them.

Close behind was the capital, where Londoners were producing 77.2 millions tonnes worth of emissions from their houses. Combined, these two top totals formed almost one third of the total amount of polluting gases.

In comparison, Northern Ireland had the lowest volume of greenhouse gas emissions at 19 million tonnes – just 3% of the total.

However, on closer inspection, households in Northern Ireland were responsible for the highest greenhouse gas emissions, at an average of 30.3 tonnes per house. Each UK household, on the other hand, was only responsible for 24.6 tonnes.

The most environmentally friendly regions were Yorkshire and the Humber with the lowest emissions per household at 21.5 tonnes.

As well as Northern Ireland, London, the east and the south east of England were producing above average levels of emissions per household.

The report showed that the main causes of emissions in homes were heating, cooking and the use of privately owned vehicles, as well as indirect emissions from electricity generation, public transport and the demand for household goods and services.

During the time period in which the statistics were recorded, indirect emissions were larger than direct emissions for all parts of the UK.

By Jane Kettle

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