Council set to make milestones in battle to tackle climate change
Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet is being asked to sign up to the Government’s Emissions Reduction Pledge (ERP) when it meets on 19 December, and commit to meet national climate change goals.
Signing up to the ERP will underline the council’s already proactive and ambitious approach to reducing its carbon emissions and help respond to the urgent need to tackle climate change.
The council has already had huge success in reducing its emissions. The Government’s voluntary target for public sector organisations is to reduce emissions by 30% in 11 years (by 2020/21). Gloucestershire County Council has more than halved its carbon emissions over the same time period; 52% reduction in eleven years, which is significantly ahead of the national target.
The council has:
- Invested in eco-friendly and carbon neutral vehicles for staff to use for work travel. So far, in eight months, the introduction of two electric and two hybrid vehicles has resulted in 7700 clean miles, preventing over nine tonnes of carbon emissions.
- Allocated £470,000 for planning and improving electric vehicle infrastructure in Gloucestershire and to increase the number of on-street charging points available across the county.
- Nearly completed a programme to convert all 60,000 streetlights across Gloucestershire to LED lanterns, reducing energy use by 70% and saving the council around £1.2million per year in energy costs and maintenance.
- Signed up to Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership’s (GLNP) Green Infrastructure Pledge, promising to develop, maintain and protect natural features in Gloucestershire. Read more about the council’s pledge to protect nature here
- completed over half of the refurbishment of its main building, Shire Hall in Gloucester, which has already significantly reduced its energy use and the rooftop solar panels will start generating renewable energy in 2019.
The national pledge asks the council to commit to doing their bit to tackle climate change by reporting progress to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and publishing their carbon emissions performance every year.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment including air quality said: “Climate change is one of the most serious threats we face as a nation. Over the past 11 years the council has made significant steps towards reducing our carbon emissions, but we want to take a leading role in the county, challenging ourselves and others to take further steps towards becoming carbon neutral.
“Becoming a more sustainable county is one of our ambitions outlined in the council’s ‘Looking to the Future 2019 – 22’ strategic plan and this pledge is another way of solidifying this commitment to our county’s future.”
If cabinet agrees to sign up to the Government’s pledge the council would hold a climate change summit in 2019, bringing together individuals and organisations from across the county to develop ideas and approaches that will further reduce the council and the county’s carbon emissions.
Further information on this decision can be found online here