COP26 is just around the corner and our individual carbon footprints should be on everyone's minds- including here in Wiltshire.

Earlier this week, the government set out its climate strategy - which was due to published in the Spring - which explained how it would deliver its target of net zero carbon (CO2) emissions by 2050.

As the strategy emphasised, the fight against climate change starts at home with the government pledging £1 billion to increase electric cars on the roads as well as unveiling a £5000 grant to help householders finance low carbon heat pumps.

In the document, the government has set out its plans to be solely powered by clean energy by 2035 and to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

Mr Johnson said: “Our strategy for net-zero is to lead the world in ending our contribution to climate change, while turning this mission into the greatest opportunity for jobs and prosperity for our country since the industrial revolution.

“We will still be driving cars, flying planes and heating our homes, but our cars will be electric gliding silently around our cities, our planes will be zero-emission allowing us to fly guilt-free, and our homes will be heated by cheap reliable power drawn from the winds of the North Sea.”

Ahead of November's COP26 Climate conference in Glasgow, one thing has become clear - we all have a part to play in reducing our emissions and protecting the planet.

UK CO2 Emissions

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released an interactive map that breaks down the carbon emissions produced by different regions across the UK.

The map is based off data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which produces annual CO2 emissions estimates for the UK nations.

The map allows you to see and compare the levels of carbon dioxide emissions and see the woodland area coverage where you live with other parts of the UK.

Currently, this local data covers up to 2019 but the ONS has published a breakdown of the provisional 2020 data.

The 2019 data shows that CO2 emissions per kilometre squared actually fell by 36% between 2005 and 2019, but this does vary by area.

In England, CO2 emissions dropped by 32% during the same time period with the Scottish levels dropping by 35% and the Welsh and Irish levels reducing by 29% and 23% respectively.

If we look at just English regions, between 2005 and 2019, the North East's CO2 emissions dropped the most at 56%.

The East of England fell the least at 30% and it will come as no surprise that out of 379 local authority districts in the UK, parts of Greater London had the highest CO2 emissions by area in 2019.

Why have carbon emissions gone down from 2005 to 2019?

The falling CO2 emissions levels bewteen 2005 and 2019 are as a result of a variety of different changes.

There has been a declien in the use of coal for generating electricity across the energy, indusrty and manufacturing sectors. 

We have also seen an increase in renewable sources of energy and will continue to do so as the industry advances.

What are CO2 emissions like in Wiltshire?

As mentioned, users can use the interactive map made by ONS to analyse the level of carbon emissions from where we live.

We can then compare this data over a period of time or between different regions in the UK. 

Source: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Looking towards Swindon first, the city recorded 6.9 kilotonnes per kilometre squared back in 2005. 

This was considerably above the national average of 2 kilotonnes per kilometre.

Over the next 14 years, Swindon has seen a steady decline of emissions.

In 2019, the city reported 4.4 kilotonnes which is a significant decrease but remains higher than the national average.

Looking towards Wiltshire as a whole, the area has actually reported below the national average throughout the entire measuring period.

In fact, in 2019 the county reported their C02 levels to be just 0.8 kilotonnes.

But we can't get complacent, there is always more we can do.

To see a closer breakdown of your area or to compare Wiltshire's results with the rest of the country, visit the ONS website.