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 38.9% of their household waste in 2015/16 (Defra). Since 2009/10, the trend in the district's recycling rate has been fairly static (see graph opposite), as it has across England as a whole.

The average household also produced 601kg of residual waste in 2015/16. Of all the municipal waste collected, 45% went to landfill. This figure has fallen substantially in recent years (it was 77% in 2007/08), and the biggest impact on this trend occurred when a proportion of waste started (around 2014/15) to be incinerated for power generation (energy from waste). Despite this, in 2014/15 and 2015/16, Wakefield still had the largest proportion of waste going to landfill of any metropolitan local authority.

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 2014 was 10% lower than in 2008, the amount of gas consumed fell by 24%. 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 rose 15%, but domestic gas prices rose 48%.

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

Other Resources

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