Figures show CO2 emissions are not only a problem for larger cities
Small industrial locations in the UK have almost nine and eight times more CO2 per capita than the average of the entire country.
Rates of CO2 emissions per capita in some industrialised areas are almost nine times higher than the UK average, according to figures published by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
The areas most affected – Redcar and Cleveland, North Lincolnshire, Neath Port Talbot and Rutland, produce yearly CO2 emissions per capita of 61.5, 56.5, 56.2 and 33.4 tonnes respectively – significantly higher than the UK average of 7.6 tonnes per annum.
It is estimated that between 80% and 94% of all CO2 emissions from these locations are a result of industries within the area.
A similar trend emerged in Scotland, with the city of Falkirk producing a similar level of CO2 emissions to Edinburgh, despite having a population roughly a third of the size. Industrial sources are estimated to be responsible for 73% of Falkirk’s emissions.
This interactive infographic allows you to see the level of emissions in your area.
Despite this, there was positive news from the latest figures, with nationwide CO2 emissions having decreased by 24% between 2005 and 2014.
Additionally, toxic gasses such as ammonia, nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide were reduced by rates of 5% to 66% between the 2005 and 2015, according to a study of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The latest findings have emerged against a backdrop of increased awareness of the threats of air pollution.
A study published by Public Health England concluded that “long-term exposure to particulate air pollution (PM2.5) contributes to deaths from respiratory and cardiovascular causes, in combination with other risk factors.”
According to this study, in 2010, almost 29,000 deaths in the UK could have been attributable to the long-term exposure to PM2.5.
Last year, The World Health Organization (WHO) named forty British and Irish locations breaching safety levels of PM2.5, with Glasgow, Scunthorpe, Leeds, Eastbourne and Salford all near the top of the list.
Moreover, the WHO named eleven cities breaching safety levels of PM10 (another measure of air pollution). The cities named were Glasgow, Port Talbot, Stanford-Le-Hope, London, Scunthorpe, Leeds, Eastbourne, Nottingham, Southampton, Oxford and Longford.
Speaking last year in response to the WHO findings, a Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “”Glasgow has set a target of being one of the most sustainable cities in Europe and we take our responsibility to monitor air quality very seriously.
In fact, the latest data for air quality in the city shows that both the Scottish Air Quality Objective and WHO target level for the pollutants PM10 and PM2.5 were met across the city in 2015.”
Additionally, the charity Friends of the Earth named 38 Scottish zones that breached the safety levels of nitrogen dioxide during 2016. According to them, the most polluted streets were Hope Street (Glasgow), St John’s Road (Edinburgh) and Wellington Road (Aberdeen).
(Source: Friends of the Earth)