CARS, lorries and buses cause the most carbon dioxide emissions in West Berkshire, recent government data reveals. 

Emissions from road transport in the district make up more than that from domestic, commercial, and industrial energy use combined. 

While emissions from homes and businesses using energy fell from 2016 to 2017, the latest data available, emissions from road transport increased. 

The carbon footprint per person fell in West Berkshire in the same period, from 8.5 tonnes to 8.2 tonnes. However, this is the highest carbon footprint across the whole of Berkshire. 

It is more than double the carbon footprint per person in Reading, at 3.4 tonnes. 

Industry and commercial emissions in West Berkshire fell by 31 kilotonnes (kt) to 315 kt, while domestic emissions fell by 23.5 kt to 254 kt. 

Transport emissions meanwhile increased by 1 kt to 791 kt. The vast majority of this comes from road travel, and most of that in turn is from motorways. 

The data comes from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and is released every summer. It allows people to track targets for reducing emissions, and to know where work needs to be done the most. 

In response to the data, Councillor Steve Masters (Green, Speen) said: “I think it shows the need for a more proactive approach to transport in West Berkshire.” 

He called for more public transport and bike paths to reduce emissions and also to reduce congestion and asthma-causing particulates.

Cllr Adrian Abbs (Lib Dem, Wash Common) did not mention public transport, but instead said people should drive more slowly to reduce emissions. 

He said: “All people need to do is drop from driving at a maximum of 70mph to 60mph on motorways and A roads. It also saves money, so really should be an obvious thing to do.”

Cllr Steve Ardagh-Walter (Con, Thatcham Colthrop & Crookham), who is the executive member for environment, did not respond to a request for comment. 

Carbon dioxide made up 81 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gases in 2017, responsible for the global climate crisis. Reducing carbon emissions will mitigate the worst effects of the crisis. 

In July, West Berkshire Council declared a climate emergency and set a target to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030. 

The council will host a conference on October 28 to invite residents and businesses to give their views on how to tackle the crisis.