People of Ceredigion have the lowest carbon footprint in the UK, study reveals
The people of Ceredigion have the lowest carbon footprint in the UK, according to analysis by WWF and the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York.
They said that the number of residents with solar panels – 10% – and the lower than average percentage who bought clothes in a given month – 20% – were big contributing factors.
Ceredigion residents taking part in the analysis only had a footprint of 10.8 CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).
Meanwhile, Hounslow, Wandsworth and Greenwich in England were found to be the three worst areas in the UK.
The place with the worst carbon footprint of all — at 15.08 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per person, compared with Ceredigion’s 10.8 — was the London borough of Hounslow.
The analysis, taken from 15 months of data between February 2019 and October 2020, aimed to show the positive impact of lifestyle changes at home. Using renewable energy and taking steps to cut carbon footprints was key, they said.
Ratings for each area were drawn up based on 326,579 people across the country filling out the calculator, which was made by SEI York and the WWF.
The carbon calculator asks respondents to answer 24 questions that cover a range of lifestyle and consumption habits under the four main categories of ‘food’, ‘travel’, ‘home’ and ‘stuff’.
Jessica McQuade, WWF Cymru head of policy and advocacy, said: “We are pleased but not surprised that Ceredigion has the lowest overall carbon footprint in the UK.
“We know that people in Wales care about the impact we have as a nation, and as individuals, in tackling the global climate and nature crisis.
“Given the scale of change we need to see to reverse the damage to the natural word both in Wales and globally we need to see these positive personal steps continue in the right direction, combined with action from government and businesses, to make the difference we need to see.”
“The carbon calculator analysis showed people’s desire for a lower-carbon future,” said sustainability expert Chris West of SEI York.
“Meeting our climate targets will require a combination of small and big changes, such as maintaining a reduction in international travel, which is needed to bring down personal footprints.
“Changing consumer behaviours are a very important component of moving towards a low-carbon future, but these must also be complemented by a rapid transition towards renewable energy and a circular economy.”