Friends of the Earth said though a national drop in transport emissions is not surprising due to successive lockdowns during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, the Government should do more to encourage people to switch to electric vehicles or ditch their cars entirely as emissions rebound.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures show transport – including cars, trains and other modes of travel – caused 103 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in Mansfield in 2020.
This was down from 120 the year before and the largest decrease since 2005, when records began – that year, transport emissions hit 149ktCO2e.
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Carbon dioxide equivalent determines the amount of CO2 that would need to be emitted to equal the same global warming potential of other produced greenhouse gases.
Road vehicles accounted for 99 per cent of transport emissions, while diesel-powered trains produced none.
Across the UK, the carbon footprint caused by transport dropped by a record 23,350ktCO2e, 18 per cent, from 130,021 to 106,671.
Friends of the Earth attributed the fall to the general public travelling less during lockdown.
Mike Childs, FotE head of policy, said rebounding traffic levels are now contributing to the Government's struggle in meeting its climate targets.
The Government pledged to cut emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 compared with 1990 levels.
Mr Childs said: “Ministers must do more to help people switch to electric vehicles or, better still, encourage them to leave their cars at home by providing better public transport and making it safer to walk and cycle.
“This would boost our energy security, cut soaring bills and slash dangerous emissions warming our planet.”
A Government spokesman said: “We have committed unprecedented funding to encourage walking and cycling, as well as to accelerate the roll-out of electric vehicles.”
Nationally, 377,680ktCO2e of greenhouse gases were emitted in 2020, down from 416,168 the year prior.
Mansfield's emissions fell to 375ktC02e in 2020, down 8 per cent from 375 the year before.
Of this, 27 per cent was caused by transport, while commercial emissions accounted for 10 per cent, industry produced 13 per cent and domestic use 44 per cent.
The average person in Mansfield produced 3tCO2e in 2020.