Spatial emissions and maps 

Emissions of pollutants are given in the form of UK maps. These maps give emissions of various pollutants on a 1x1 km resolution. One set of maps is produced each year for the most recent NAEI year.

The geographical distribution of emissions across the UK is built up from a number of map distributions for each sector. These individual NAEI sector distributions are developed using information and surrogate statistics appropriate to each sector. For large industrial and commercial sources, emissions are compiled from a variety of official UK regulatory sources. For diffuse emission sources in the UK, distribution maps are generated using appropriate surrogate statistics for each sector. The method used for each source sector varies according to the data available.

The emission maps are used by Ricardo Energy & Environment and other organisations for a variety of Government policy support work at the national scale. In particular, spatially disaggregated emissions estimates (1x1 km) and road link-specific emissions information from the NAEI are used annually to underpin Defra's Pollution Climate Models (PCM). These models are incorporated into the UK’s national air quality compliance assessments that are reported to the Commission under European Directives. For the full methodology describing how these data are used, see the PCM report on the Defra website.

Local area statistics are also compiled from the maps and related data. For example, Local Authority level data on GHG emissions and fuel use have been produced for Defra and BEIS since 2003 using data from the NAEI mapping work. These datasets were designated as National Statistics.

Historically, emissions maps have only been routinely compiled for the latest year in the NAEI time-series. Hence, there has been no consistent time-series in spatially disaggregated emissions maps. However, for the first time in 2006, a time-series relative to a 2005 base year was been calculated for end-user emission maps for CO2 and sub-national energy consumption estimates. These maps and datasets were developed in order to support national policy on energy consumption and carbon emissions on behalf of BEIS. There is a commitment in future years to back-calculate the emissions estimates maps for end-user CO2 and fuel use to take into account improvements in mapping and inventory methodology and to ensure that a comparable time-series starting in 2005 is always maintained.

Page last modified: 20 July 2022