Gloucestershire County Council cuts carbon emissions by 97 per cent
Gloucestershire County Council has cut its net corporate CO2 emissions by 97 percent since 2006/7 according to its first annual report on climate change. The council is firmly on track to becoming a carbon neutral organisation much earlier than its 2030 target.
As a result, the county council has signed up to a new UK100 pledge which moves the target for Gloucestershire to become a carbon neutral county from 2050 to 2045, recognising the global urgency for tackling climate change. The figures include the carbon saving from green electricity generated at the Javelin Park Energy from Waste plant, but even before taking that into account, schemes like replacing street lighting with LEDs pushed the council to a 73 per cent reduction.
When the county council’s cabinet meets on 16 December they will be asked to approve the next rolling five-year plan for reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change in Gloucestershire. They will also be asked to back a call to Government to grant local authorities more powers and resources to reduce carbon emissions in their areas.
Although Coronavirus has caused some delays to the county-wide Climate Action Plan, significant progress has been made with tackling emissions since the plan was published in December 2019.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said, “Gloucestershire County Council is on its way to becoming carbon neutral. I’m really proud of what we have achieved so far, but, we still have a long way to go and this new target of carbon neutrality for the whole county by 2045 brings new challenges. We must work together to create a carbon neutral county that provides quality of life now and for future generations, and improves and protects our natural environment too.”
Since the council declared a climate emergency in May 2019, a number of positive changes have been made. The county council continues to review every aspect of its business from ensuring school meals come from local providers, to reducing single use plastics and utilising Government initiatives to encourage active travel. It also made the switch to a green electricity tariff in September 2019, so all electricity for our buildings, streetlights, lit signs and bollards in Gloucestershire are powered by clean energy. The council’s small fleet of electric and plug-in hybrid pool cars are charged using renewable electricity generated by the solar PV panels on Shire Hall.
Pending cabinet approval, the county council will join many other local authorities asking the Government for more powers and resources, allowing councils to take action on climate change and nature restoration, and to build back better from Covid-19 in their areas.
Read the cabinet paper and emissions reports online.
- The Climate Coalition – more powers for local government
A group of local government, environmental and research organisations, have come together to set out a blueprint for how the government can accelerate climate action and a green recovery from coronavirus at the local level. This report sets out the national leadership, policies, powers and funding needed to empower local authorities to deliver at scale, working together with communities and businesses. The report, “A blueprint for accelerating climate action and a green recovery at the local level”, is supported by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, amongst other organisations.
- About UK100
UK100 is a network of highly ambitious local government leaders, who have pledged to secure the future for their communities by shifting to 100 per cent clean energy by 2045. Find out more at www.uk100.org