The Guernsey Annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin has been published showing a 0.2% increase in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in 2021 compared to 2020, both Covid-impacted years.
The total emissions in 2021 were 293.2kt, compared with 292.5kt in 2020. The emissions for both 2020 and 2021 were significantly lower than previous years largely due to less power being generated on-island.
The bulletin also provides a provisional estimate for total greenhouse gas emissions in 2022, which is 336kt of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. While higher than the preceding two years, it would still be a significant decrease from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
In 2020, through its climate change and energy policies, the States agreed a target of net zero emissions by 2050 and an interim target of reducing emissions by 57% on 1990 levels by 2030. The bulletin shows that in 2021 there was a decrease of 48.3% compared to 1990 emission levels.
Transport contributed the largest proportion of emissions in 2021 at 30.4%, with commercial and domestic combustion (including heating and hot water) contributing 26.6% of emissions.
Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said: “The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows that the world has already warmed by 1.1C and could reach 1.5C in the near future, with the impact likely to hit the most vulnerable communities the most.
“Our emissions from 2020 and 2021 were always going to be something of an anomaly with unprecedented reductions in transport and commercial energy use
due to lockdowns. However, with the provisional estimate for 2022 below pre-Covid levels, the data suggest we are heading in the right direction.
“There is clearly still plenty to do to reach our interim target and transport is a key area of focus. We’ve made gradual year-on-year reductions in emissions from
transport but it’s still our single biggest source. Further reductions can come from making low-energy and energy-efficient forms of transport more viable options for more people.
“We will soon be bringing forward a new Electricity Strategy which, if agreed by the States, will put us on a more sustainable and resilient pathway to net zero.
“We’ve already seen through the Waste Strategy how Guernsey can lead the way in making positive emissions-related changes that have wider social and economic benefits. If we can make similar positive changes in other areas, we will continue to head in the right direction.”