Wales has highest CO2 emissions per person in the UK

August 6, 2007 12:00 AM

Today, the Welsh Liberal Democrats released figures calculated by the Welsh Assembly's Members Research Unit showing that CO2 emissions per person in Wales are the highest in the UK, and the 12th highest anywhere in the world.

CO2 emissions per person in different parts of the UK are:

• Wales - 14.2 tonnes

• N. Ireland - 9.5 tonnes

• England - 8.8 tonnes

• Scotland - 8.5 tonnes

The figures show that for Wales to make its fair contribution to UK CO2 emission cuts under the Kyoto protocol, Wales will need to cut its emission by a further 15% by 2010.

Welsh domestic emissions are an average of 2.7 tonnes of carbon per person, significantly higher than the UK average of 2.4 tonnes. Households in 18 out of Wales 22 local authorities have average CO2 emission above the UK average.

Wales is also the least efficient user of carbon in the UK with lowest level of GDP per unit of carbon emitted implying that it is furthest away from achieving a low carbon economy.

Commenting, Jenny Willott, said:

"These are very worrying figures. Labour's decade of dismal leadership over climate change has left Welsh carbon emissions per person among the highest in the world.

"Ten years of Labour leadership have seen UK emissions rise every year, green taxes fall as a share of total tax and the green economy floundering. Wales now needs to cut its carbon emissions by over 15% by 2010 in order to meet its contribution to the UK's Kyoto target. This is a mountain to climb in such a short space of time.

"Wales has a larger industrial base than many parts of the UK so its carbon emissions are likely to be higher on average anyway. But the scale of the difference is enormous and very worrying. In fact, Wales is the 12th highest emitter of carbon per person anywhere in the world, on a par with Taiwan.

"In particularly, domestic carbon emissions from Welsh households are still higher in Wales compared to the UK average. This requires urgent action including bigger grants and incentives for Welsh families to take up energy efficient and microgeneration technologies.

"The figures suggest Wales is also furthest from becoming an efficient low carbon economy. This should be a warning signal that the green economy in Wales is struggling and that major efforts are needed to further improve energy efficiency.

"Tapping into the wide range of renewable energy resources in Wales would go along way to cut carbon emissions. Sadly, Wales is in danger of missing out on this golden opportunity under the Government's nuclear centred energy white paper. We need to drive forward investment in all renewable areas including biomass, tidal power and microgeneration.

"Combating climate change and shifting to a low carbon economy is a task that requires urgent action, bold leadership and innovative policy-making across the board. On each count, Labour has failed but especially in Wales."

What would you like to do next?