Dacorum moves towards a greener future with drop in carbon dioxide emissions

The Zero Carbon campaign said major policy changes were needed to tackle CO2 emissions from heat and transport

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 10:25 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 10:26 am

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

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures show that CO2 emissions in the area dropped by 4.3 per cent in 2019 – the latest available data – compared to the year before.

Transport was responsible for emitting the largest amount of CO2 in Dacorum in 2019 – 269,000 tonnes.

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The image has been used for illustrative purposes

However, emissions from the sector dropped by 5.1 per cent over a decade.

Between 2009 and 2019, overall CO2 emissions in Dacorum dropped by 23 per cent.

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

A spokesperson for Dacorum Borough Council said: "Whilst we are pleased to see that emissions have dropped for Dacorum borough as a whole, the progress is a start but this news is not yet a celebration.

"In order to keep on track with the Paris Agreement and our borough’s carbon budget, Dacorum should have seen a drop of at least 7 per cent.

"Instead this new emissions information highlights we have only reached just over half of this.

"As a result, we will now need to work even harder as individuals, businesses and organisations to reduce our carbon footprints even faster to make up for this lost ground."

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 for the campaign 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.

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

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

The spokesman added: "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."