A Climate Emergency Summit is to be held in February to help accelerate action by the Council and its partners to reduce carbon emissions and limit the impact on climate change.
The aim will be to generate more ideas to speed up the move towards a clean energy district and explore wider district climate change and carbon reduction activity once the Council’s action plan for the organisation is in place.
At its core, the Council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan will follow a ‘carbon reduction waterfall’ to map a path to success for the Council to become carbon neutral by 2030.
The accelerated path of Council focussed carbon reduction activity starts with improving energy efficiency in buildings such as using more efficient lighting and heating. Alongside that is the move towards replacing petrol and diesel vehicles by either electric or low-emission vehicles. These will be followed by switching to green power and green gas. The final step, after other reduction techniques are exhausted, would be a carbon offsetting scheme. This would see investment in carbon reduction projects to compensate for emissions made elsewhere.
An update on the Council’s Climate Emergency will be tabled at Full Council for discussion on 18 December.
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Leader of the Council, said: “We are very serious about reducing carbon emissions to as near zero as we can get. Now that we are where we are in-house, we will now expand our effort to help homes and businesses across the district to do the same. More resources are being committed which I will be announcing at Full Council on 18th December.”
In January 2013, the Council launched its first Carbon Management Plan which was designed to reduce carbon emissions by 17.70% by 2020. However, it reached and surpassed that target within three years, cutting emissions by 21.55%.
Having met its target four years ahead of schedule, the Council developed an Energy Plan with a more ambitious target of reducing Council emissions by 80% by 2050 (1990 baseline) and already there has been a 68% reduction.
With the good progress so far and promising plans in the pipeline, Council has committed to accelerating its progress to be carbon neutral by 2030. With the experience gained, the Council will become the catalyst to help homes and businesses to also move towards becoming carbon neutral.