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Analysis of greenhouse gas mitigation performance in UK urban areas

Butt, T., Mohareb, E. ORCID:, Egbor, K., Hashemi, A. and Heidrich, O. (2022) Analysis of greenhouse gas mitigation performance in UK urban areas. Carbon Management, 13 (1). pp. 463-481. ISSN 1758-3004

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/17583004.2022.2120418


As the threat of irreversible climate change has increased over time, the UK has continued to set increasingly ambitious policies for reducing its carbon emission. An assessment of mitigation progress to date 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 emissions 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 2005-2016. Substantial and relatively consistent GHG emissions reductions were achieved in this time frame, with average total emissions 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 the 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 seem largely driven by historic factors (density), shifting economic structures (deindustrialisation), and centralised initiatives (decarbonisation of electricity generation).

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering
Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
ID Code:107044
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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