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 council says 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.
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.”
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.