Energy Management

Reducing our Carbon Emissions

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential. This will help to prevent further increases in average global temperatures. It will also help avoid any extreme impacts of climate change.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most abundant greenhouse gas. This means that more CO2 is emitted than any other greenhouse gas. It is mostly emitted from burning fossil fuels, like oil, gas, and coal. There are also several other types of greenhouse gases. These come from other activities including agriculture and waste disposal. The UK has a legally binding agreement to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 under the 2008 Climate Change Act Climate Change Act 2008 (legislation.gov.uk). This means that we will reduce emissions as far as we can by 2050, and any emissions that are still emitted will be removed from the atmosphere by activities such as planting new trees.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) calculate CO2 emissions for local authority areas. Emissions of carbon dioxide for Local Authority areas - data.gov.uk. These have been reported since 2005. They are measured in thousands of tonnes (kilotonnes, or kt) of CO2.

Local action is critical to achieve the Government’s net zero target.

The Isle of Wight’s total carbon emissions in 2005 were 776,000 tonnes (tCO2) or 5.7 tCO2 per person. These had fallen to 484,900 tCO2 or 3.4 tCO2 per person by 2018. 2018 is the latest available data.

According to the BEIS figures, the Island's per capita carbon emissions have fallen from:

  • 5.7 tonnes CO2 per person in 2005;
  • to 3.4 tonnes CO2 per person in 2018.

 

The annual reductions are shown in the table below:

Annual CO2 reductions in Tonnes per person

Year 

 Tonnes CO2 per person

2005

5.7

2006

5.5

2007

5.3

2008

5.2

2009

4.6

2010

5.2

2011

4.6

2012

4.9

2013

4.6

2014

4.1

2015

4.0

2016

3.8

2017

3.5

2018

3.4

 

Please note: the BEIS figures do not account for all greenhouse gases as they only examine emissions from CO2.

Other greenhouse gases

There are several other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

These include: 

  • Water vapour (H2O)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • Fluorinated gases (CFCs and HCFCs)

These other greenhouse gases cause different levels of global warming than carbon dioxide. They are usually converted into carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2e.

For example, methane causes about 25 times more warming than carbon dioxide. One tonne of methane would be equal to 25 tonnes of CO2e.

Reduce your carbon footprint

For ideas on reducing your carbon footprint, please visit the Energy Saving Trust website.