Posted on Tuesday 7th November 2023
Carbon emissions at Staffordshire County Council have continued to fall over the last year, according to the authority’s annual report.
A range of initiatives have already reduced emissions by 50 per cent, since the authority declared a climate change emergency in 2019. More steps are planned to reach net zero by 2050.
One project making a positive contribution is The Kingston Centre, which is being refurbished into a primary school, with £795,000 funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund. The retrofit includes six air source heat pumps, high insulation levels, and solar PV installation. It is expected to save 150 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
In addition, the council’s highways department ran a pilot project, switching to hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) biofuel in their gritting fleet and forklifts. This reduced carbon emissions by 60 tonnes in three months, compared to conventional diesel, whilst also decreasing pollution levels by up to 84%.
Last year, £5.75 million was awarded to 427 properties in Staffordshire, installing a total of 540 energy efficiency measures through the Staffordshire Warmer Homes scheme.
Simon Tagg, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change said:
“The county council can be proud of how much we have achieved in the last year to reduce carbon emissions as highlighted in the report.
“Although the authority only accounts for a small percentage of the county’s emissions, we still have a part to play.
“We have already made excellent progress by reducing our emissions by 50 per cent and we continue to take significant steps in reaching our target of net zero by 2050, through the proposals in our action plan.”
Through the members Climate Change Action Fund, last year 73 projects were supported, offering £72.5k of funding for community groups, charities, schools, and parish councils, to tackle climate change.
The council also shared the third revision of their (2021-2025) Climate Change Action Plan. The plan shows the completed actions over the last 2 years, presents reviewed actions, timescales and introduces a few new actions.
The full report and action plan, which can be viewed here, will be discussed at a meeting of the council’s Cabinet on 15th November 2023.