Carbon emissions fell in almost all local authority areas in recent years, according to government figures.
Figures released last week by the Department for Energy and Climate Change showed an overall fall of 14% across all local authority areas between 2005 and 2009.
Total emissions increased in only ten local authority areas, most notably in Highland Council where they were up by 11%.
The council believes this may be due to increased tourist traffic and the widespread use of oil as a domestic fuel.
The biggest fall was seen in Gravesham BC, down 66% since 2005, and is attributed to the closure of a large cement works.
The report found that domestic emissions had fallen in all local authority areas but there were rises in industrial, commercial and road emissions.
King’s Lynn & West Norfolk BC’s total emissions rose by 7%, driven by a 25.3% increase in industrial and commercial emissions.
Deputy leader Brian Long (Con) defended the increase: “King’s Lynn has seen major industrial and commercial growth.
“One of Europe’s largest paper processing plants has just opened in the area, it will increase carbon emissions but it is recycling more newspaper than anywhere else in the country.”
“Kings Lynn is on the up and the council has done a lot to promote that.”
With emissions increases and decreases so closely linked to industrial activity, a spokesman for DECC said the government was not relying on the economic downturn to keep emissions in check.
“When the economy picks up again we want to make sure we don’t see a sudden peak in emissions which is why we have policies in place to help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” he said.
Although industry is the biggest producer of emissions - 43% compared to 30% from the domestic sector and 27% from road transport - the Carbon Trust has been encouraging councils to look at their own emissions.
Richard Rugg, director of programmes at the trust, said local authorities should aim to reduce their own emissions by up to 25% in five years, a figure already achieved by Oxford City Council.
Schools were important places to start as emissions from their buildings could constitute 84% to the total, Mr Rugg said, and the trust is working with Cambridge schools on quick ways to save energy and money.
“We start with heating and lighting controls, insulation and IT, a big consumer of energy,” said Mr Rugg.
Case study: Sheffield City Council – 20% drop in emissions
The council has increased the numbers of bus lanes, joined up cycle lanes and introduced free parking for low emissions vehicles.
Bio-methane vehicles form part of the councils’ fleet, fuelled from green matter, supplied by local businesses.
The Care4Air partnership encourages local residents, schools and businesses to ‘do their bit’ to improve air quality and runs an award scheme to recognise excellence.
The council is part of the East End Quality of Life Initiative, which works in some of the most deprived parts of the city, where local volunteers carry out pollution monitoring and free air quality alerts are available to those with respiratory problems.
Andy Nolan, Director of Sustainable Development at Sheffield City Council said: “We are still digesting the data but there has been a bigger push around renewable energy over the last few years which have enabled us to create energy distribution.”
Three large wood burning installations produce two MW of power to heat 550 dwellings and the city is one of the top generators of solar power. Heat from the city’s waste incinerator fuels 140 buildings.
Mr Nolan believes that clear planning policies are essential.
“Sheffield was the first of the core cities to have a Local Development Framework in place with very clear and supportive planning initiatives that have encouraged the adoption of sustainable fuels.
“We also have businesses in the city who have responded to opportunities such as Feed in Tariffs,” he said.
Mr Nolan believed that national initiatives such as CRC and emissions trading were driving reductions in the business sector, especially in manufacturing.
The first CRC league tables, rating the energy efficiency performance of large businesses and public organisations, will be published later this autumn.