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Written Statement - Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Wales in 2009

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John Griffiths, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development

The Greenhouse Gas Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland report, providing data for 2009, were published on 6 September 2011.

The ‘basket’ of six greenhouse gases is measured as follows:

  • Emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are measured against the base year 1990
  • Emissions of “f-gases”: hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride are measured against the base year 1995

The Report shows that on a ‘by-source’ basis, Wales’ share of the UK’s total net GHG emissions was 7.6% and that emissions in Wales have declined by 23.3% compared to the base year (1990 and 1995 for f-gases).

There was a decrease in GHG emissions in 2009 compared to 2008 from 49.3(r)* to 42.6 MtCO2.

Specific figures for each greenhouse between 1990 (1995 for f-gases) and 2009 were as follows: 

  • CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) emissions reduced by 19.3%
  • CH4 (Methane) emissions reduced by 45.7%
  • N2O (Nitrous Oxide) emissions reduced by 28.2%
  • HFC (Hydrofluorocarbons) emissions increased by 580.8%
  • PFC (Perfluorocarbons) emissions reduced by 79.5%
  • SF6 (Sulfur Hexafluoride) emissions reduced by 50.4%

The steep increase in HFC emissions in Wales is due to their increased use in refrigeration and aerosol propellants as a replacement for CFCs.  There is no HFC / HCFC manufacture in Wales and HFCs are responsible for less than 1% of Wales total greenhouse gases in 2009.

The report also includes ‘end-user’ datasets which provide estimates of emissions at the point of consumption of energy, rather than where it is produced. 

The figures indicate a general downward trend in overall emissions.  It is clear that the UK economic downturn has been a major factor in the steep decline in emissions in 2009.

Looking ahead, we must maintain and enhance our efforts to drive down greenhouse gas emissions in Wales.  Our Climate Change Strategy confirms the approach and policies for delivering our commitment to reduce emissions by 3% per year from 2011 in areas of devolved competence, against a baseline of average emissions between 2006 and 2010.

The Strategy sets out the Welsh Government’s commitment to lead action in tackling climate change and we are already making good progress in this area.  But our targets can only be achieved if everyone – government at all levels, people, communities and businesses – all play their part.  This is why we are working across government, with the wider public sector and with businesses and communities to help deliver on this agenda.  It is this partnership approach that will help us to meet the challenging emission reduction targets that the science demands.