Cardiff ranks among the worst UK cities for carbon dioxide emissions per person in the city, a report on greenhouse gases has revealed.
The Welsh capital produced approximately two million tonnes of CO2 in 2009, which would have been enough to fill Millennium Stadium more than 700 times.
Compared to other cities, Cardiff had the highest volume of emissions per person in England and Wales and is behind only Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast.
The figures suggest an average Cardiff resident produces 6.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.
However residents in rural areas are responsible for even more carbon emissions – with Wales’ annual emissions averaging 7.2 tonnes of CO2 a year.
And city council leader Rodney Berman said the city was making great progress bringing down carbon emissions – with some of the biggest reductions in Britain.
The report was commissioned by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) from Oxford Brookes University and examined carbon emissions from the 20 biggest cities in the UK between 2005 and 2009.
The lowest polluters were residents of Greater London, who produced only 5.2 tonnes of CO2 per person.
The majority of Cardiff’s emissions resulted from industry, which accounted for 45% of emissions. A further 30% came from domestic sources, while 25% came from road transport.
Professor Tim Dixon, director of the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, said: “Cities vary in their emissions pattern by sector.
“These differences reflect such factors as travel patterns, industrial and business composition of cities and the age and relative energy efficiency of housing stock.”
Under the Climate Change Act 2008, the UK has a legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34% from their 1990 level by 2020 and by 80% by 2050. Between 2005 and 2009, the top 20 cities reduced their total emissions by about 12.5% overall.
Professor Dixon said: “The battle against climate change and resource depletion will be won or lost in the world’s cities.”
Rodney Berman, leader of Cardiff council, said: “Since 2004, the Liberal Democrats have made reducing carbon emissions a key part of the council’s programme.
“We are already making good progress on our target of reducing carbon emissions by 60% from the council’s own activities and buildings other than housing by 2018.
“We may well have started from a high historical baseline relative to other cities, but we are now making faster progress in reducing our carbon emissions than all but one other major city in the UK.”