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14 June, 2007 - 12:50 By Staff Reporter

Cambridge and Norwich blackspots for business pollution

Cambridge and Norwich are blackspots for business pollution according to unique research by The Carbon Trust.

The Trust has issued a new UK carbon map which reveals that businesses account for more than half of carbon emissions in some urban areas.

In only four of the 33 UK locations used in the research does business account for more than 50 per cent of Co2 emissions – and two of these are Cambridge and Norwich. The others are Leicester and Sheffield.

Considering the lack of heavy industry in Cambridge and Norwich, their presence in the hall of shame can only be down to pure ignorance of sustainability and particularly energy efficiency.

The irony is that Cambridge and Norwich brainpower produces most of the environmentally friendly products and practices that wider industry are adopting; the region clearly needs to start practising what it is preaching.

Sea air clearly helps to either reduce emissions – or perhaps just keep business away. Southend is the least offending East of England region studied, its business sector accounting for 33 per cent of all local carbon emissions.

Brighton is also on 33 per cent while Blackpool also has relatively low greenhouse gas emissions.

The league table highlights the areas of the country in which businesses are emitting well over the national average of 40 per cent of CO2 emissions.

Ipswich is midway between the worst and least offenders; 43 per cent of its emissions come from business. And if you need a benchmark for Cambridge’s crime sheet, consider Oxford where 49 per cent of the city’s emissions come from industry.

Businesses in Newry, Northern Ireland, emitted the lowest proportion – just 26 per cent of the city’s CO2 emissions.

The new figures also include the percentage of carbon dioxide emissions generated by business activity in each location within the UK.

Greater London emerged as the city with the highest overall volume of CO2 emissions (50,754,000 tonnes) with Aberystwyth the lowest at 696,000 tonnes.

The Carbon Trust created the new map to spur businesses to take action on climate change.

Tom Delay, chief executive of The Carbon Trust, said: “Business has a critical role to play in tackling climate change as it is responsible for approximately 40 per cent of CO2 emissions in the UK,

“And poor energy efficiency costs business an estimated £2bn annually.

“Implementing straight-forward energy saving measures in the workplace could reduce energy bills by up to 20 per cent, enhance companies’ reputations and drastically cut their carbon footprint.”

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