CO2 emissions drop in Midlothian

Midlothian moved towards a greener future with a drop in carbon dioxide emissions over the course of a year, figures reveal.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 5:00 am
Stock photo. PA.
Stock photo. PA.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures show that CO2 emissions in the area dropped by 3.1 per cent in 2019 – the latest available data – compared to the year before. The domestic sector was responsible for emitting the largest amount of CO2 in Midlothian in 2019 – 138,000 tonnes.

However, emissions from the sector dropped by 25 per cent over a decade. Between 2009 and 2019, overall CO2 emissions in Midlothian dropped by 20.3 per cent.

The figures also cover transport emissions, as well those from the industrial, commercial and public sectors.

Across the UK, 360 of 379 local authority areas saw a decrease in emissions in 2019, with an overall drop of 3.6 per cent owing to a change in the fuel mix for electricity generation, greater use of renewables and a drop in the use of coal, according to BEIS.

The Zero Carbon campaign said major policy changes were needed to tackle CO2 emissions from heat, transport and hard to decarbonise industries such as steel and cement.

A spokesman said: "To reach net zero emissions by 2050 and deliver our even more ambitious target to reduce emissions by 78 per cent by 2035, we need to decarbonise much further, faster and across a far greater section of our economy.

"The Government must deliver an economy-wide, net-zero aligned policy programme which protects low-income households from increased costs and emphasises the benefits that will be derived from the low-carbon transition."

Friends of the Earth said local authorities do not have the resources to decarbonise some of the most polluting sectors such as housing and transport, due to budget cuts.

Mike Childs, head of science, said: "Empowering councils to dramatically reduce carbon emissions must be at the core of the Government’s forthcoming strategy to curb catastrophic climate breakdown.

"Over 200 councils have declared climate and ecological emergencies, so the enormity of the climate crisis has clearly cut through at the local level.

"Proper support and investment from central government must now follow."

A BEIS spokesman said the national the figures were "hugely encouraging".

"The UK was the first major world economy to commit to ending our contribution towards climate change by 2050 and we continue to make great strides towards that target thanks to the continual effort and dedication of the local authorities."