Environment and Climate Change


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

Despite increases in the population and industry, estimated CO2 emissions in Wakefield fell 29% between 2005 and 2017. 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 - especially gas usage.

In 2017, industry accounted for around 35% of CO2 emissions, with the remainder accounted for by road transport (39%) and domestic uses (27%).

Household Waste


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

Wakefield households recycled 47.8% of their household waste in 2017/18 (Defra). Following on the previous year this rate is a marked improvement on previous years. The average household also produced 509kg of residual waste, lower than the regional average (537kg). The recent improvements mean that in 2017/18, only 13% of waste collected by the Council went to landfill, while 39% of the waste was incinerated at the Ferrybridge Multifuel plant to generate electricity - up from 0% three 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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