Carbon budget for the Lake District

Setting a local carbon budget

Climate change will have a direct impact on what the Lake District looks like and how its environment, society and economy function in the future. The Lake District National Park Partnership is committed to leading the way on climate change.

In 2010, the Lake District was one of the first local areas to set itself a carbon budget, as part of our Low-carbon Lake District initiative. We have continued to measure local carbon savings every year since.

The principle behind a carbon budget is simple: like a financial budget, we aim to find out how much carbon the Lake District is responsible for, and then reduce the carbon 'spend' year on year.

Measuring the carbon footprint of the Lake District

Local carbon footprinting experts Small World Consulting have calculated the carbon emissions of the National Park. The study revealed the Lake District is annually responsible for consuming 3.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Action to reduce emissions

Our target is to reduce emissions by one per cent a year, in line with national statutory carbon budgets established in the in the 2008 Climate Change Act.

The Partnership's Climate Change Group have drawn up a Carbon Budget Action Plan (2019-20) to reduce emissions. The latest report shows the two areas which offer the greatest opportunity to significantly reduce emissions in the Lake District are the transport sector, particularly visitor transport, and the accommodation, food and drink sector. Other projects include:

  • support to local communities to develop energy projects
  • installation of new hydro electric schemes
  • support to local businesses to improve efficiency and develop new solutions for industry through innovation, and
  • peatland restoration work.

The plan is overseen by the full Lake District National Park Partnership. It forms part of the management plan for the National Park, The Partnership's Plan.

It is part of the Low-carbon Lake District initiative, an area-wide strategy to tackle climate change.

How are we doing?

We report progress against our action plan. Our target is to reduce emissions by one per cent a year, through an annual monitoring audit of carbon saving actions in the National Park, including the actions in the Action Plan.

An independent review of carbon savings was carried out in 2017. This identified measurable carbon savings of approximately 94,000 tonnes of CO2. The full details are available.

For the first time, in 2013, we looked in detail at the carbon savings from renewable energy in the Lake District. There were over a thousand renewable energy installations, saving about 19000 tonnes of carbon. Here is a summary of the research (PDF).

Previous reports

Working with other local areas

As the first of its kind, the Carbon Budget has attracted considerable interest, with West Sussex and Greater Manchester adopting a similar approach.

In 2012 we gave written oral evidence to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee. We are cited in their Consumption-Based Emissions report (opens in new window)