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Analysis of greenhouse gas mitigation performance in UK urban areas

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Oliver Heidrich



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.As the threat of irreversible climate change has increased over time, the UK has continued to set increasingly ambitious policies to reduce its carbon emission. An assessment of mitigation progress to date at the local authority level clarifies the factors that have affected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on the path to carbon neutrality. This research uses regression analyses between local authorities’ GHG emission redcutions and selected explanatory variables (including population density, household income, and manufacturing employment) identified from the literature to explore mitigation performance over time, focusing on GHG emissions changes between 2005 and 2016. Substantial and relatively consistent GHG emissions reductions were achieved in this time frame, with average total reductions across UK local authorities of 31.2%. Population density was moderately-to-strongly correlated with the success of transportation GHG emissions mitigation, though this sector has seen the smallest percentage declines over this period. Local authorities with densities below 25 inhabitants per hectare were generally among the poorest performers in transportation GHG mitigation. This underscores the need to support remote working and electrification of personal transportation in areas where public/active transportation options are not viable alternatives. Furthermore, consideration of population density in conjunction with domestic and urban planning will allow for future emissions reductions to occur across the UK. Fundamentally, GHG emissions reductions to date are largely driven by historic factors (density), shifting economic structures (deindustrialisation), and centralised initiatives (decarbonisation of electricity generation).

Publication metadata

Author(s): Butt T, Mohareb E, Egbor K, Hashemi A, Heidrich O

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Carbon Management

Year: 2022

Volume: 13

Issue: 1

Pages: 463-481

Online publication date: 02/10/2022

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 26/06/2023

ISSN (print): 1758-3004

ISSN (electronic): 1758-3012

Publisher: Taylor and Francis Ltd.


DOI: 10.1080/17583004.2022.2120418


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