Analysis highlights regional variations in carbon emissions

New analysis has revealed wide variation in carbon emissions around the country.

The study by vehicle finance provider Moneybarn reveals which counties in England have the highest and lowest carbon emissions with Rutland shown to be the highest emitting area of the UK at around 28 tonnes of CO2 emissions per person.

Lincolnshire was judged to be the second highest with just over 13 tonnes of CO2 emissions per person, while North Yorkshire came third (13 tonnes) and Cornwall was fourth with 10.7 tonnes.

The lowest emitting county in England was judged to be Northumberland, both in terms of tonnes of CO2 produced per person and its total CO2 emissions.

According to Moneybarn, the county’s emissions have fallen by 261% between 2005 and 2015, thanks in part to the conversion of the Lynemouth power station to biomass and several wind farms in the area.

The county of Suffolk, which also has offshore wind farms, was deemed to be the second lowest emitter with 0.2 tonnes of CO2 emissions per head and surprisingly for some, Greater London was the third lowest emitter with 3.7 tonnes per person.

‘Huge step’

The figures come as the government looks to ban all new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 and publish further details of the clean growth plan.

‘The development of sustainable, energy efficient transport networks in the UK will be a huge step towards reducing emissions,’ said Moneybarn’s sales and marketing director, Simon Bayley.

‘Although our analysis has shown that the spread of innovation remains mixed, there are signs in regions such as Greater London, Manchester and the West Midlands that effective strategies are being introduced and making a positive impact.

‘With the increased focus on efficiency and battery improvements that power electric cars, plus a growing emphasis on renewable energy sources to create electricity that would charge them, the move away from petrol and diesel as a fuel source for vehicles signals a positive step to reduce air pollution,’ added Mr Bayley.

‘As the infrastructure surrounding electric vehicles grows and the convenience becomes negligible, or even better, compared to traditional petrol or diesel cars, people should be encouraged to consider the purchase of zero-emission cars. Recent tax changes also allow owners of zero-emission cars under £40,000 to pay no car tax, which has obvious monetary benefits.

‘The National Grid in the UK has voiced encouragement about the proposed move to electric vehicles, with gas, renewable and nuclear energy sources cited as areas for additional power supply and a move away from coal, with the potential for energy networks to shift charging of electric cars to off-peak low demand periods.’

Last week, British inventor James Dyson announced plans to build an electric vehicle in the UK, which will be launched in 2020.

‘As more manufacturers dedicate resources towards producing electric vehicles, this can only have a positive impact on the speed of their rollout,’ added Mr Bayley.

‘The announcement that Dyson, a brand not known for vehicle production, is committed to the future of electric vehicles shows the exciting progress that is being made in this industry.’

Call for ‘clear strategy’

In addition, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) has published a new report, Forward View, which calls for a clear strategy from the government on charging infrastructure as people switch from traditional cars and trucks to electric vehicles.

The report said there needs to be a consistent minimum quantity and specification for EV charging at all new supermarkets, car parks, and other retail outlets over a certain size.

It also recommended more onsite renewables and energy storage at major charge stations to provide low-cost, low-carbon power and reduce grid stress.

‘It’s essential that government is factoring in this historic shift into new building regulations, infrastructure investment, and energy policy so that the transition is as smooth as possible and Britain benefits from its current leadership position,’ said REA’s head of electric vehicles, Matthew Trevaskis.
‘One key point in this report is that the way people interact with charging will be substantially different than how they interact with petrol fill ups at present.
‘By the time the government’s 2040 diesel and petrol vehicle ban comes into play, we believe it to be likely that a viable alternative system will already be in place.

‘The 2040 ban was a useful first step, and what’s needed now is a clear national and regional charging strategy.’

Photo by Slaunger

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Jamie Hailstone

Jamie Hailstone

journalist

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