Edinburgh in ten worst UK cities for CO2 emissions - and nearly bottom of the league for being eco-conscious
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Edinburgh has been named as one of the ten worst cities in the UK for carbon dioxide emissions – and also one of the least eco-conscious.
The research, covering 55 cities across the UK, ranked Edinburgh number six for total CO2 emissions in a league table where the first three places were taken by London, Birmingham and Leeds. Glasgow and Sheffield also came in with higher emissions than Edinburgh. But the Capital was ahead of Bradford, Manchester, Wakefield and Doncaster in the amount of CO2 it produces.
The study, by utlility switching site Utility Bidder, looked at the estimated carbon emissions for each city in 2019 and 2020. But to take account of the impact of Covid, when lockdown restrictions led to a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, it took an average of the two years. The calculations showed Edinburgh’s with CO2 emissions amounting to 2,000 kilotons, compared with London’s 29,983, Birmingham’s 3,940 and Glasgow’s 2,281.
However, in an analysis of emissions per head of population Edinburgh’s performance was not quite as bad, emerging as No 29 out of the 55 cities with 37.98 kilotons per 10,000 residents. The three worst cities in this analysis were Newport (63.57), Wrexham (60.20) and Doncaster (59.67) while Stirling (55.72), Aberdeen (47.87) and Dundee (40.53) also ranked worse than Edinburgh. Glasgow, at No 34 in the league table, was the best-performing Scottish city listed with 35.91 kt per 10,000 population and London was at No 44 with 33.03.
Another part of the study tried to identify which cities were the most “eco-conscious”. It examined data from the last year to see how much residents in each city used Google to search for questions such as “How to reduce air pollution?” and “How can I make my home more energy efficient?”. The three top spots went to Swansea, Wrexham and Milton Keynes.
Edinburgh fund itself second last in the table, with only London ranking worse. Edinburgh residents Googled the questions a total of 1,690 times during the year – which is just 27 searches per 100,000 population, compared with Swansea’s 617 per 100,000 residents. Aberdeen, at No 8, was the most eco-conscious of the Scottish cities with 265 searches per 100,000 residents, Dundee was on 240 and Glasgow 139. In bottom place, London had just 25 searches per 100,000 population.
The study said: “With growing concern around the effects of climate change, it is now more important than ever for people to consider adopting a more eco-conscious lifestyle. In the UK, carbon makes up an overwhelming majority of greenhouse gas emissions.” It said transport was the biggest source of CO2 emissions, followed by the energy supply sector and the residential sector.
It noted a large proportion of transport emissions was accounted for by road travel such as cars and buses. An it continued: “Since the new millennium, a series of Low Emission Zones have been introduced in some of the busiest UK cities as a way of tackling air pollution. As well as this, an abundance of cycle to work schemes have been implemented by businesses to incentivise the use of low-carbon travel. As a result, the transport sector has seen a 13.03 per cent decrease in CO2 emissions over the last 30 years and it is hoped that this number will continue to decrease in the coming years.”