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New map shows carbon emissions across the UK - people living in Greater London, Sheffield and Birmingham emit the m...
New map shows carbon emissions across the UK - people living in Greater London, Sheffield and Birmingham emit the most carbon

A new carbon map of the UK (, launched today by the Carbon Trust, illustrates the carbon emissions released by 33 towns and cities throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The map indicates the overall UK picture as well as offering detailed regional breakdowns showing the extent of carbon emissions in each area.

The new figures also include the percentage of carbon emissions generated by business activity in each town or city. Business in the UK is responsible for approximately 45 per cent of carbon emissions and has an important role to play in tackling climate change.

Of the 33 towns and cities surveyed, the area with the highest volume of carbon emissions is Greater London (9,045,844 tonnes) with Aberystwyth the lowest at 6,607 tonnes. The figures also show the amount of carbon emitted per person - inhabitants of Greater London, Sheffield and Birmingham produce the most carbon, whilst the residents of Aberystwyth, Derry and Brighton emit the least.

Garry Felgate, director of external relations & business delivery at the Carbon Trust, said:

'Climate change is the biggest environmental threat we face and it's vital that we realise that we are all responsible for emitting carbon and all need to do something about it now. However, many businesses are still ignoring the problem even though there are financial as well as environmental benefits from taking action. Given that energy prices are rising quickly, cutting carbon through improved energy efficiency will reduce energy bills. There are many low and no cost measures that can be implemented today that will cut carbon and save energy and we urge them to contact our free helpline on 0800 085 2005 and take advantage of the help and expertise that is available.'

For the national map with detailed regional information, visit the new Carbon Trust microsite.

The figures included in the map are summarised below:

Town/city Total emissions Business percentage Emissions per capita

Aberystwyth 6,607 51% 0.42

Belfast 542,855 28% 0.94

Birmingham 2,327,102 32% 1.02

Blackpool 202,609 28% 0.78

Bournemouth 268,636 19% 0.70

Brighton 289,289 28% 0.63

Bristol 436,019 29% 0.79

Cambridge 112,588 39% 0.86

Cardiff 265,661 36% 0.81

Coventry 295,694 40% 0.88

Derry 51,518 25% 0.62

Edinburgh 366,581 32% 0.81

Exeter 76,458 45% 0.72

Glasgow 1,052,571 26% 0.90

Greater London 9,045,844 34% 1.09

Greater Manchester 2,129,344 30% 0.95

Ipswich 111,537 27% 0.79

Leeds 1,364,138 41% 0.91

Leicester 374,830 33% 0.85

Liverpool 755,329 40% 0.93

Newcastle 806,335 27% 0.92

Newry 22,507 29% 0.82

Norwich 170,022 42% 0.87

Nottingham 612,666 33% 0.92

Oxford 108,408 38% 0.76

Portsmouth 304,830 28% 0.69

Preston 179,857 28% 0.68

Reading 272,012 23% 0.74

Sheffield 682,838 44% 1.07

Southampton 238,449 26% 0.78

Southend 174,515 18% 0.65

Stoke on Trent 351,825 22% 0.97

York 115,458 45% 0.84


The Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust works with UK business and the public sector to cut carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies. An independent company set up by government to help the UK meet its climate change obligations, the Carbon Trust creates practical business-focused solutions to carbon emission reduction on energy efficiency, carbon management, and investment.

The Carbon Trust's annual funding is in excess of£69m in grants from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly Government and Invest NI.

For more information on the Carbon Trust visit

Map methodology

The information underlying the map was compiled as part of the National Air Emissions Inventory, and is based upon the tonnes of carbon emitted by human activity across various sectors per square kilometre.

The Carbon Map was created by Netcen, which compiles annual emission estimates from a large number of sources and fuels at the 1*1 km level as part of the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory (NAEI) programme of work for Defra.

The NAEI methodology makes best use of available spatial data including:

Pollution inventory. The Environment Agency (EA) publishes the Pollution Inventory each year. It contains emissions data provided by operators of processes regulated by the EA under the Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) and Integrated Pollution Prevention & Control (IPPC) regulatory regimes. The emissions data extend from 1998 onwards to 2004 and cover air pollutants such as carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and sulphur dioxide which can be used to estimate the quantity and type of fuel burnt by combustion processes.

Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI). The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) published the Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory earlier this year containing emissions data for 2002 and 2004 for the processes they regulate under IPC and IPPC in Scotland. As with the Pollution Inventory, data from the SPRI can be used to generate estimates of fuels consumed at individual sites.

Inventory of Sources & Releases, provided by the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland) since 1999, which gives data for processes in Northern Ireland equivalent to the data given in the Pollution Inventory and the SPRI for England & Wales, and for Scotland respectively.

DfT traffic flow data on major roads (A roads and motorways)

Ordnance Survey data on the locations of roads

Iron & Steel Statistics Bureau (ISSB) annually published compendium of statistics, which includes regional data on the production of pig iron and steels. Since there are relatively few sites involved in the production of pig iron, oxygen steel or electric arc steel, these regional numbers can be used to generate fairly robust estimates of metal production at individual sites.

Household Survey data (Experian survey of main fuel used for domestic heating),

Regional energy statistics

Population census data for 2001.

High spatial-resolution industrial and commercial employment data from the Interdepartmental Business Register, produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

In addition a number of other, minor, datasets are used including some data from industry and trade associations.

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