Three Rivers emissions report 2019


The government department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) release annual carbon emissions (CO2) data broken down by local authorities. Due to the complexity of the data, the most recent information is always 18 months old. Three Rivers 2019 CO2 data has now been released. 

Three Rivers total CO2 emissions for 2019: 531,000 tonnes of CO2

  • Three Rivers’ CO2 emissions for 2019 are down 4% compared to 2018 data.
  • Three Rivers’ CO2 emissions are down 26% compared to 2005 (oldest data available).
  • The drop in emissions since 2005 is mostly due to the National Grid decarbonising.

(Note: BEIS data only provides carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) and does not account for all greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e). As such, additional emissions data from varying sources can report this as being higher. BEIS emissions typically account for around 80% of all CO2e emissions).



Three Rivers Carbon Budget

A ‘carbon budget’ is the cumulative amount of carbon dioxide emissions permitted over a period of time.

Once carbon dioxide reaches the atmosphere it can take between 300-1000 years to breakdown, which is why when considering emissions reductions, it is crucial to take into account carbon budgets.

The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research are a leading climate organisation in the UK who use science-based targets to help local authorities calculate their area’s carbon budgets so that they can cut their emissions in line with climate science and the UN Paris Agreement. The below extract is from their summary report for Three Rivers.


“Based on our analysis, for Three Rivers to make its ‘fair’ contribution towards the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the following recommendations should be adopted:

  1. Stay within a maximum cumulative carbon dioxide emissions budget of 3.4 million tonnes (MtCO2) for the period of 2020 to 2100. At 2017 CO2 emission levels, Three Rivers would use this entire budget within 6 years from 2020.
  2. Initiate an immediate programme of CO2 mitigation to deliver cuts in emissions averaging a minimum of -14.1% per year to deliver a Paris aligned carbon budget. These annual reductions in emissions require national and local action, and could be part of a wider collaboration with other local authorities.
  3. Reach zero or near zero carbon no later than 2040. This report provides an indicative CO2 reduction pathway that stays within the recommended maximum carbon budget of 3.4 MtCO2. At 2040 5% of the budget remains. This represents very low levels of residual CO2 emissions by this time, or the Authority may opt to forgo these residual emissions and cut emissions to zero at this point. Earlier years for reaching zero CO2 emissions are also within the recommended budget, provided that interim budgets with lower cumulative CO2 emissions are also adopted.”