Which UK Local Authority is the Greenest?

In May 2019, the UK committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, meaning that emissions from homes, transport, farming and industry will have to be avoided completely or offset by planting trees, removing CO2 from the atmosphere or paying for emission saving initiatives elsewhere.

To hit these lofty targets, the UK will need to continue its shift towards green energy, encourage motorists to swap their petrol or diesel powered cars for electric vehicles, and improve home energy efficiency to reduce energy waste.

But when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, some parts or the UK perform better than others.

To see who’s already ahead of the curve when it comes to reducing their carbon footprint, we analysed CO2 emissions data to find the nations greenest local authorities.

Greenest Local Authorities

Top 30 local authorities with the smallest CO2 emissions per capita:

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Argyll and Bute has the UK’s lowest carbon emissions per capita, thanks largely to its forested areas which acts as a natural carbon sink. It’s estimated that the forests of Argyll and Bute currently store around 11 million tonnes of carbon and remove an additional 600 Kilotons a year!

Most Improved Authorities

Top 30 local with the largest change in per capita CO2 emissions (%):

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Argyll and Bute and Highland are the least polluting Local Authorities per capita and the most improved authorities over a 10-year period. 

Like Argyll and Bute, Highland also benefits from natural carbon sinks such as forested areas and peatland which each act to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Greenest London Authorities

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Hackney is not just London’s greenest authority, but also the third greenest in the whole of the UK.

To address issues with air quality, Hackney has introduced schemes that encourage walking, cycling and electric vehicles which has also reduced the overall carbon emissions in the area.

UK’s greenest regions

Regional CO2 emissions per capita:

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London is the UK’s greenest region with the lowest per capita emissions. New ultra-low emissions zones, low-emission buses and taxis have all helped to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in the city.

George Chalmers, our CEO, commented: “With the UK committing to net-zero by 2050, we wanted to see the current state of UK carbon emissions and how far we’ve come over the last 10 years.

“It’s great to see so many London authorities in the top 30, which is likely a result of efforts to improve air quality in the city like moving to greener public transport services and encouraging the uptake of electric and ultra-low emissions vehicles.

“The move away from fossil fuels to a renewable national grid will also play a key role in helping the UK to hit its climate goals, and with even large suppliers now committing to supplying 100% renewable electricity, energy customers who want a green energy tariff have more choice than ever before.”

To read more on switching to a green energy deal, read our guide to switching to a green energy deal. To take a look at the full data and see where your local authority ranks click here.