What Are Chorlton’s Carbon Emissions?

To reduce our carbon footprint, we need to know how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted by different aspects of our everyday life. 

Matt Basnett, a graduate from the University of Manchester, was tasked with understanding the emissions of Chorlton by taking a deep dive into the Place Based Carbon Calculator – an interactive map – during a summer internship with the Tyndall Centre.   

He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and is undertaking a master’s degree in renewable energy at the University of Manchester.   

Using the Place Based Carbon Calculator Matt was able to understand Chorlton’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and see what the average carbon footprint is across Chorlton and where this CO2 is coming from.

How much CO2 is emitted by people in my area?

(Source: Place Based Carbon Calculator)

This map of Chorlton is divided into areas of 1500-3000 homes – these are known as ‘lower super output areas’ or LSOAs. If an area is blue, average CO2 emissions per person are below the national average. If the area is yellow, emissions are about average, whilst orange and red areas are above average.

The Place Based Carbon Calculator uses publicly available data to calculate emissions:

  • Gas and electricity – the Government publishes average meter readings for each LSOA
  • Car and van use – national survey data and MOT test data
  • Flights and emissions from goods and services – national survey data and average income for each LSOA

What is the rating where you live?

Why do some areas have higher CO2 emissions than others?

This graph compares average CO2 emissions for someone living in the Chorlton ward with those from the Chorlton Park ward. The average emissions per person in the Chorlton ward are 37% higher than those in the Chorlton Park ward. It is important to note that the graph shows the average CO2 emissions of residents, the carbon emissions of different people living within these wards could vary from this average.

Why are emissions higher from the Chorlton ward than the Chorlton Park ward?

Emissions from gas, electricity and housing are similar between the two wards. Car ownership is slightly higher in the Chorlton ward. The big differences come from flights and consumption, sectors which make up 60-70% of the Chorlton ward’s emissions, and where the Place Based Carbon Calculator (PBCC) uses income to calculate emissions. Emissions were calculated in this way because good local data is not available and it helps provide a representative view of the whole carbon footprint.

Matt said: “In 2018 the average person living in Chorlton emitted 9030 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2). This is the same as driving 22,600 miles in a car or driving from Manchester to London and back 54 times. 

“Chorlton’s carbon footprint varies significantly. People living in the Chorlton ward have higher emissions than those living in the Chorlton Park ward and income is a strong indicator of carbon emissions. 

“It was a pleasure to work with the Our Streets Chorlton team while I was with the Tyndall Centre. For me it was my first time realising that there was a community of dedicated people and organisations in Manchester working to secure a low carbon future for everyone. I enjoyed the community aspect of the work, and it was great to feel like I was making a real difference.” 

Want to find out more? Check out these links below!

To look at Chorlton’s carbon footprint in more detail you can visit the Place Based Carbon Calculator page here . The Place Based Carbon Calculator is an interactive map with lots of fun statistics and graphs!

To see a 15-minute video recording of Augusts data chat of Matt’s talk which goes into more detail on Chorlton’s carbon footprint, either watch below or click here.