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'Green' Burnley bucks trend for CO2 emissions

CO2 emissions in Burnley have fallen
CO2 emissions in Burnley have fallen
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Carbon dioxide emissions from transport in Burnley have decreased over five years, bucking the national rise.

The latest data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has revealed that CO2 emissions from freight and passenger transport were cut by 1.5% between 2011 and 2016.

That means traffic was responsible for 34.2% of the total amount of carbon dioxide released in the area in 2016.

Overall, emissions from transport, both private and for business purposes, increased by 3.5% in the UK over the period.

In Burnley, households accounted for 37.4% of CO2 emissions. Industrial and commercial activities produced 28.4% of the carbon dioxide in the area.

The UK’s summer heatwave has raised awareness about the growing risks of climate change. Scientists believe that future heatwaves will be more frequent and hotter due to carbon dioxide emissions.

Total emissions of CO2 fell by 16.5% over five years in Burnley. The area was responsible for releasing 0.38 million tonnes of CO2 in 2016 - down from 0.46 million tonnes five years earlier.

Gareth Redmond-King, head of climate change at the World Wildlife Fund UK, put the national rise in emissions from transport down to the greater number of large cars on British roads.

He said: “We’re aping the American market and more drivers are switching to unnecessarily large vehicles with greater carbon emissions. Bigger vehicles tend to be less efficient on fuel use.”

The department put the decreased emissions from the domestic sector down to lower coal consumption.

Phil MacDonald, analyst for climate change policy think tank Sandbag, said the UK has made progress on energy efficiency, particularly through LED lightning.