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West Norfolk emits more CO2 than other Norfolk boroughs

West Norfolk is responsible for more than a quarter of the county’s CO2 emissions, according to recent government data.

The statistics from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which are estimates of carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 to 2017, show that the borough consistently had higher emissions of the greenhouse gas than the other local authorities in Norfolk.

A spokeswoman for West Norfolk Council said the data in the report is not the carbon footprint of West Norfolk Council itself, but a combination of all emissions sources within the district boundary.

Combustion fumes coming out of car exhaust pipe
Combustion fumes coming out of car exhaust pipe

In 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, a total of 1,405.3 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide were emitted in West Norfolk, which equates to 27 per cent of the total emitted in Norfolk as a whole that year.

The authority with the next highest total in 2017 is South Norfolk, at 838.6 kilotonnes, followed by Broadland at 707.5 and Breckland at 699.8.

These figures are made up of emissions from industry and commercial sectors, as well as domestic gas and electricity and transport.

The Government says that CO2 is the main greenhouse gas, accounting for about 81 per cent of the UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.

A West Norfolk resident who lectures in conservation biology described the findings as “scandalous”.

Dr Charlie Gardner, of Ashwicken, who is also involved in the West Norfolk Extinction Rebellion group, said: “This situation brings shame upon our borough, particularly in light of the council’s recent refusal to declare a climate emergency.”

Ian Devereux, cabinet member for environment at West Norfolk Council, said: “Many sources of CO2 are not controlled by the borough council and we have only limited influence or statutory powers in this area. They are controlled nationally or by other agencies.

“We have a high per capita figure due to the overall emission level and the rural nature of our relatively sparsely-populated district. We are one of the largest districts by area in England – but small in terms of population.”

Ian Devereux (5568041)
Ian Devereux (5568041)

He added: “Reducing our own carbon footprint is something we are already working on. We are putting together data that will establish our current baseline.

“We will then set up a working group to explore the data and make recommendations for how we can shrink our footprint.”

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