Councils fail to maintain carbon emission improvements
The latest government figures show less than 3% of UK local authorities managed to reduce their carbon emissions in 2010, reversing improvements seen in the previous year.
Released by the Department for Energy and Climate Change on 23 August, the estimated carbon emissions figures for all UK local authorities in 2010 show only 12 out of 406 authorities managed to decrease their emissions from 2009 levels.
Emissions increased in the remaining 394 councils completely reversing the results between 2008 and 2009 when emissions decreased in almost all local authorities, with increases in emissions seen in only 4 councils.
Domestic emissions also reversed the previous year’s improvements, increasing in all councils between 2009 and 2010 with gas consumption accounting for 49%, and electricity 40%.
The industry and commercial sector accounted for the largest share of emissions across the local authorities with 43% of end-user emissions attributed to the sector, while 31% came from the domestic sector, and 26% from road transport.
Friends of the Earth's senior campaigner, Jane Thomas, blamed central Government for the disappointing figures, saying local authorities were ‘trying desperately hard to build a thriving low-carbon local economy’ but ‘have repeatedly had the rug pulled out from under their feet by Government’.
‘These figures make for grim reading – building a low-carbon economy and meeting our national carbon budgets means all parts of the UK making big emissions cuts, but it looks like we’re going backwards.
‘They are a snapshot of 18 months ago – since then it is unlikely that the situation will have improved. The coalition Government’s swingeing cuts to council budgets and ditching of regulations has left councils unable to prioritise energy saving and clean energy in their communities and economies.
‘The Government has to listen to its independent climate advisors – without a requirement for councils to act on carbon, and more funding to help them do it, we probably won’t meet our national carbon budgets,’ she concluded.
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