Recording and reporting greenhouse gas emissions is a key part of understanding and responding to climate change. The Isle of Man’s greenhouse gas emissions are estimated as part of the UK’s reporting to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) each year. This ‘inventory’ of emissions and removals is estimated according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidance.
Crucially, this involves accounting for emissions on a ‘production’ or ‘territorial’ basis – that is, emissions are accounted for in the geographical area they are emitted. For example, the emissions involved in the production of a car in the UK would be accounted for in the UK. If that vehicle was sold and driven in the Isle of Man, the emissions associated with the fuel being burned would be accounted for in the Isle of Man. This approach is different from the ‘consumption’ or ‘carbon footprint’ basis, where emissions are estimated based on end-use.
The Climate Change Act makes it a legal requirement to report to Tynwald on emissions on a five-yearly basis and ensure that our emissions reporting aligns with international reporting standards.
Work is ongoing to improve the quality of our emissions data to provide the best possible baseline to measure our progress.
Energy supply (electricity) makes up the most significant proportion of the Island’s emissions at 26% of net emissions (164kT CO2e). Most of these emissions come from the Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) at Pulrose, with smaller amounts produced by the Energy from Waste (EfW) plant and diesel generators. Due to the methodology outlined above, any emissions from electricity produced on-Island and exported to the UK are included in the Island’s inventory. Conversely, electricity imported from the UK is excluded from the Island’s inventory.
Residential emissions make up 23% of net emissions (148kT CO2e), most of which relate to home heating using oil and gas.
Transport makes up 22% of net emissions (136kT CO2e). The most significant components of transport emissions are petrol and diesel usage for cars, making up just under 60% of the total. Other notable contributors are shipping, aircraft, and HGVs/buses. For travel to/from the UK, half the round-trip aircraft/shipping emissions are allocated to the Isle of Man and a half to the UK. These are excluded from the inventory and are reported separately for international travel (e.g. to the Republic of Ireland). These calculations follow the standard IPCC guidance.
Agricultural emissions make up 17% of net emissions (110kT CO2e). The largest emissions category is methane from animal digestion and waste (mostly cows), followed by emissions from land use such as ploughing methods like tilling. This data is sourced from the Isle of Man Agricultural Census and is considered fairly accurate, though there is scope to refine further with the availability of more detailed information on specific Manx farming practices.
Business emissions make up 9% of net emissions (54kT CO2e). Most of these emissions relate to heating commercial buildings with smaller levels of emission from refrigeration and other chemical processes. Emissions from refrigeration and chemical processes are based on UK levels scaled to the Isle of Man, so there is scope to improve this data by better understanding business processes.
Waste Management makes up almost 3% of net emissions (18kT CO2e). The Energy from Waste (EfW) plant is included in Energy Supply, leaving emissions from landfills and sewage.
This is a small category, making up less than 1% of emissions. This relates solely to nitrous oxide emissions from food consumption.
Land-Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry
This category is a net remover of carbon dioxide. The total removals equate to 25kT CO2e, equivalent to about 4% of the gross emissions. Data on land use is collated from various sources, and work is underway to improve this data.
IOM's greenhouse Gas inventory (2021):653 kilotonnes (kT) of CO2 per year
Approx. 7.74 tonnes per person per year