London consumption-based emissions fell by 27% since 2001

Consumption-based emissions in London have reduced but not fast enough, according to a new report published by London Councils. 

Consumption-based emissions refer to the amount of carbon emissions attributed to a place, based on the goods and services used in that area by residents and businesses.

The report, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Leeds shows that overall London borough saw a 27% reduction in their consumption-based emissions between 2001 and 2018.

While this reduction is welcomed, the authors of the report warn that the pace of reduction is not fast enough to meet the target of reducing consumption emissions by two thirds by 2030.

In every borough, the largest impact is transport, this is due to a combination of petrol and diesel cars, non-renewable powered public transport and aviation emissions.

The second-largest impact is buildings and their associated power usage, this is then followed by emissions from food and drink.

The report also revealed that overall, higher consumption emissions were emitted by wealthier boroughs.

gray concrete buildings under blue sky at daytime

Mayor Philip Glanville, chair of London Councils’ Transport and Environment Committee, said: ‘As a leading global city, London has a huge responsibility for the impact of emissions we produce directly, but we must go further than this and consider the environmental impacts of the goods and services that we consume which are produced outside of the city.

‘By measuring consumption-based emissions, we can help Londoners understand their choices and behaviours that contribute to climate change; our One World Living programme, led by LB Harrow, will build on this to create demand for green goods and services and help to encourage sustainable consumption and production across the globe.

‘This is the clearest picture we have ever had of London’s impact on the environment. While it is positive that consumption emissions have reduced, we need to work quickly to fully understand consumption within London and how local leaders can work with Londoners to transition to a more sustainable way of life.

‘It is essential we build a sustainable London for every Londoner, making sure that our diverse communities are all included in finding solutions to reduce consumption-based emissions across the capital’s varied boroughs.’

Photo credit – Emily Wang

Pippa Neill


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