Greenhouse gas emissions

Summary

The 2020 total greenhouse gas results give a total figure of 8.3 million tonnes (MtCO2e) for the 12-authority Lancashire area. This equates to 6.7 tonnes per person (UK=5.6).

At the local authority area level, emissions range from under 400 kilotonnes (kt) in Rossendale and Hyndburn to 1 Megatonne (Mt) or more in Ribble Valley and Lancaster.

Emission figures for all three main greenhouse gases now published

In June 2022 the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published emission figures for all three significant greenhouse gases which originate from UK territory. Carbon dioxide figures have been available since 2005, and so have some components of the other two, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), but the lack of figures for other components means that it is not possible to calculate overall totals and per capita values for those two or overall combined greenhouse gas totals and rates prior to 2018.

Carbon dioxide equivalent and global warming potential

The values for methane and nitrous oxide are published as tonnes (1,000 kilograms) of the carbon dioxide equivalent value (CO2e or CO2-eq) for the gas. This is different from the true mass of the emissions in that it is multiplied by a factor known as the global warming potential (GWP) of the gas. Both methane and nitrous oxide have much higher GWPs than CO2 (25 and 298 respectively). Some less significant greenhouse gases, such as fluorocarbons, have GWPs of over 1,000. Using the CO2e measurement allows a total greenhouse gas figure to be calculated.

Microsoft Power BI report

A Microsoft Power BI report has been prepared which is similar to that in the Lancashire Insight Carbon dioxide emissions article. In this greenhouse gas version Table 1 is not static, but any of the years 2018-20 can be selected, and so can all of the three greenhouse gases plus the greenhouse gas total. An extra sector appears in the table, Waste management, as this can be a major source of methane, although this is also tapped and used for electricity generation. Agriculture can now be seen as a very major source of the other greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide, especially in Ribble Valley and Lancaster. Figure 1 also has the selection by year and gas enabled. Figure 2 is on a new slide and compares the relative contribution of each gas for each district, with selection by year enabled. Figure 3 is similar to the Figure 2 on the CO2 emissions article, but with rates for higher geographies included. It does not have a district filter because the time series is only for 3 years, not 16, and as such is less densely graphed, but has a filter for the greenhouse gas.

A more recent report (2021) on greenhouse gas emissions at the UK level can be found in the 'related websites' panel.
Page updated July 2022