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New CO2 statistics for East Midlands…which is which?

October 19, 2009

UPDATE: The NI186 figures were revised in November 2009 – more details here.

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A new dataset for carbon dioxide emissions by local authority has just been released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Actually, make that two datasets. It’s fair to say that there is potential for confusion between the two, so here is a quick guide to clear up what to use when.

The statistics given most prominence by DECC are for total emissions by local authority area for 2007 (local figures are only available after a two year gap). These figures cover all emissions on an ‘end-user’ basis; that is, only those associated with energy usage within homes and businesses. The emissions from the region’s power stations are allocated to those using the energy being produced (useful for the region as it is a net exporter of energy).

The figures for total emissions give the most accurate picture available of how the actions of people within the region are contributing to climate change. However, this picture includes some sources over which local government has little control; namely transport emissions from motorways and large emitters who belong to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). To reflect this, DECC have removed these sources for a parallel set of statistics released in line with National Indicator 186 (NI186)  guidelines. NI186 is a requirement for districts to reduce their per capita emissions which is included in the majority of the region’s Local Area Agreements.

So total figures reflect the scope of the overall problem, but for a focus on local and regional policy it’s the NI186 figures that are the key. Intelligence East Midlands is working with new data to present some visualisations for the new Climate East Midlands website currently in development. 2007 is the third year of data made available at the local level, so offers an opportunity to begin to study change over time. I’ll be checking back in on the blog once we’ve looked over the figures more carefully.

OK, that’s enough of the abstract here’s the latest ‘Act On Co2’ ad from DECC; certainly doesn’t pull any punches…

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