Scottish Labour top list of most environmentally unfriendly websites

Scottish Labour has topped a list of the most environmentally unfriendly websites among Scotland’s major political parties, but labelled the league table a “fabrication”.

The analysis of political party websites was undertaken by the Eco-Friendly Web Alliance, which works to reduce the amount of carbon emissions from websites.

The organisation claimed that, per page view, Scottish Labour’s website is responsible for nine times the recommended maximum level of carbon dioxide, with 9.16g of carbon dioxide per view.

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Scottish Liberal Democrats are second on the league table with just over four grams of carbon dioxide per view, with the SNP third with just over three grams.

The Scottish Conservatives’ website is the best performing of the major parties, with 1.5g, just over the maximum, with the Scottish Greens second best with 2.45g of carbon dioxide per page view.

Several Scottish councils were also above the 1g target, with Aberdeen Council registering 3.46g per page view and Aberdeenshire Council registering 3.15g.

Just over half of all the councils’ websites are responsible for below the 1g target, the EFWA said.

Shane Herath, chair of the Eco-Friendly Web Alliance, said: “Local authorities and political parties all talk well about the importance of reaching net zero.

“It’s important those words are matched by action, and reducing the emissions caused by use of their website is a key way of playing their part.

"Political parties have more to do – it’s important they set an example for everyone else when it comes to sustainable web use.

“There’s no reason why any website should not be able to come below the 1g of CO2 per page view limit.”

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The EFWA states their tool calculates the figure by focusing on the data transfer that happens when a website is loaded, the energy intensity of internet data, data centre energy source and carbon intensity of electricity.

However, this was rejected by Scottish Labour, which said their website was climate friendly due to using carbon neutral technology.

A party spokesperson told The Scotsman: “This story is a fabrication. They do not have the technology to produce the statistics they are talking about.”

Want to hear more from The Scotsman's politics team? Check out the latest episode of our political podcast, The Steamie.

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