Environment and Climate Change

Source: CO2 emmissions.
(Defra; LG Inform API).

Despite increases in the population and industry, estimated CO2 emissions in Wakefield fell 26% between 2005 and 2015. Local reductions haven't kept pace with the national trend in the past few years, principally because emissions from industrial and commercial activities have been slower to fall.

In 2015, industry accounted for around 40% of CO2 emissions, with the remainder accounted for by road transport (35%) and domestic uses (25%). The main change in this split has been in CO2 emissions from transport, which only represented 30% of all emissions in 2005.

Household Waste

Source: Local authority collected waste.
(Defra; LG Inform API).

Wakefield households recycled 47.5% of their household waste in 2016/17 (Defra). This was a big improvement on the previous year (38.9%). The average household also produced 533kg of residual waste, now lower than the regional average (552kg). The recent improvements mean that in 2016/17, only 20% of waste collected by the Council went to landfill, while 31% of the waste was incinerated at the Ferrybridge Multifuel plant to generate electricity - up from 0% two years previously.

Energy can also be generated from the gases produced by landfill. In 2016, electricity generation from landfill gases was the largest contributor to local renewable electricity generation.

Domestic Energy Consumption

Annual domestic energy consumption (corrected for climate trends) is continuing to fall, and Wakefield district has the lowest levels of domestic gas and electricity consumption, per consumer, in West Yorkshire.

Domestic gas usage (and the CO2 emissions associated with this) increases during years with colder winters (as reflected in the number of degree days of heating required), as heating systems work harder to keep homes at a comfortable temperature (see graph below). However, while the heating requirement in 2016 was only 1% lower than in 2008, the amount of gas consumed fell by 16%. Improvements in property insulation and heating systems will be making a contribution to this trend, but gas price increases may also be affecting how much heating people can afford. Over this period, gross disposable household income per head has risen by 17%, while domestic gas prices have risen by 33%.

Source: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and Stark.

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