A roadmap of how Nottinghamshire County Council will continue to reduce its carbon emissions over the next seven years and become carbon neutral by 2030 has been detailed in a corporate wide Carbon Reduction Plan.
The authority declared a climate emergency back in May 2021 in which it committed to achieving carbon neutrality in all its own activities by 2030.
The Council’s latest Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions report confirms the Council has reduced its emissions by 32% against its 2020 baseline – the adoption of hybrid working policies driven by the Covid pandemic, reduced energy use in Council buildings, and LED streetlighting programme being key drivers behind achieving this reduction.
The Carbon Reduction Plan has been produced in response to the GHG emissions report, to outline a framework for action and scope for the activities for which GHG emissions will be measured and reported.
Councillor Mike Adams, Environment Ambassador for Nottinghamshire County Council, describes the plan as an “innovative milestone” for the County Council. “It’s our roadmap – detailing internal roles and responsibilities within service areas and sets out ambitious targets we will measure against on our pursuit of the 2030 goal.”
Three broad areas of activities have been identified where the Council can further reduce carbon emissions: energy use in buildings, in highways assets (mainly street lighting), and in work-related travel and transport (fleet vehicles and business mileage in private cars).
Improving the energy performance of its buildings replacing vehicle fleet with low emission alternatives, replacing streetlights across the county with LEDs and allocating areas for tree planting are just some of the ways the county council is progressing on its journey to becoming carbon neutral.
Councillor Adams continued: “We’ve been making real progress in some of the areas identified over the last 20 months, so it’s not something new – though we recognise we need to do more, especially in terms of residual emissions when we hit the 2030 target. Tree planting, such as the Trees for Climate Programme, and green initiatives that offset carbon emissions are essential in the long term.”
The GHG emissions report and Carbon Reduction Plan will be reviewed annually.
Councillor Neil Clarke MBE, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Nottinghamshire County Council said: “We recognise we have an important role to play in addressing the challenge of climate change.
“The Carbon Reduction Plan as a corporate delivery framework provides focus ensuring the Council has a robust plan for reducing emissions and help meet its 2030 pledge.
“We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and protecting the environment to help to tackle the climate emergency as outlined in Ambition 9 of the Nottinghamshire Plan. This Council has a vision of a healthy, prosperous, and greener future for everyone within Nottinghamshire, and this plan helps us deliver that.”