London's consumption-based emissions account

London Councils, the GLA and ReLondon jointly commission the consumption-based emissions account for London, which provides regional and borough level profiles. The most recent release, covering 2001 - 2020, was published on 26 June 2023.

Key messages from the 2023 release:

  • London continues to see annual reductions in consumption-based emissions, in line with the overall UK trend.
  • Despite significant reductions in emissions, London will need to go further to achieve net zero.
  • The key areas of London’s household consumption-based emissions remain transport, housing (including emissions embedded in buildings’ materials) and food (eaten at home and outside the home).
  • Borough emissions profiles are largely similar, although the difference between the lowest and the highest is significant: the lowest emitting borough (Newham, 6.31 tonnes CO2e (tCO2e)) is around two-thirds that of the highest (City of London, 9.64 tCO2e).
  • London Councils, the GLA and ReLondon will continue to collaborate to commission these accounts, and support efforts to make similar accounts available to all UK local authorities.
Key data and documents:

What are consumption-based emissions?

Standard territorial accounting of greenhouse gas emissions, such as the London Energy and Greenhouse Gas Inventory (LEGGI), measures the direct emissions produced in the Greater London area. By contrast, consumption-based emissions accounts take a wider view by including the emissions embodied in the goods and services that are imported into London and consumed here. Whilst territorial emissions account for the climate impact of activities occurring in London, consumption-based emissions account for the climate impact of Londoners’ lifestyles.

Why do we commission the Account?

London Government is taking ambitious action on climate change, with accelerated targets for reaching net zero. London boroughs have made climate change one of the key shared ambitious of their collective work through London Councils, working closely with the GLA and ReLondon, amongst other partners. A suite of major programmes underpins this collaboration, including the One World Living programme, which focuses on reducing consumption emissions.

As a leading global city, London has a responsibility to not only consider the impact of the emissions being directly emitted from the city, but also to consider the environmental impacts of the goods and services that it consumes which are produced outside of the city. By measuring consumption-based emissions, London can help its residents understand their wider impact and create demand for green goods and services, thereby helping to encourage sustainable consumption and production across the globe.

The consumption-based emissions account for London and its boroughs provides a strong evidence base for understanding and shaping London government’s efforts – working with residents, businesses and central government – to reduce those emissions in a fair and equitable manner.

What next?

The One World Living programme, led by LB Harrow and working with West London Waste Authority, is one of London Councils’ major collaborative climate programmes and will continue to be a major focus point for efforts to reduce consumption-based emissions, particularly focusing on plastic, textiles, electronics and food.

London Councils, GLA and ReLondon will commission the updated release in 2024, covering 2001 - 2021.

The Local Authority Consumption Accounts website makes consumption-based emissions accounts available for every authority in England, Scotland and Wales, based on the methodology developed for London boroughs. 

Reports and data from the 2021 release (2001 - 2019)

Consumption-Based Greenhouse Gas Household Emissions Profiles for London Boroughs report

London Councils' press release

Member briefing (may require login)

Borough data

Online launch of CBE Report and LACA tool - 26 June 2023