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Carbon emissions fall as County Council sets example

Carbon emissions caused by Staffordshire County Council are falling sharply as the authority moves towards net zero.


Initiatives have already reduced emissions by 43 per cent since its climate emergency declaration in 2019 and more steps are planned as the authority aims to reach net zero by 2050.

Projects already underway include installing solar panels on library roofs and at county farms, replacing LPG boilers with low carbon heating solutions, investing in energy efficient technologies in corporate buildings, changing street lights to low-energy ones, investing in walking and cycling routes and planting more than 17,500 trees.

Over the last two years, the county has worked closely with local groups and schools investing more than £128,000 into local community action to create greener communities through initiatives such as installing bike racks at schools to encourage active travel or upgrading a community hall with LED lights.

Simon Tagg, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change, said: “As a local authority we are only responsible for a small proportion of carbon emissions in the county, but our position allows us to set an example.


“We are already making significant progress and we have a clear plan for the next four years to cut carbon emissions, improve air quality, reduce waste and support people in changing their habits to be more environmentally friendly.”


The four-year plan includes the development of an EV strategy in Staffordshire, improving the energy efficiency of all council-owned buildings, looking for opportunities to plant more trees and reducing the amount of food and garden waste going into general waste bins.


The council is also looking to change its fleet vehicles to run on alternative fuels as well as planning to work with local bus operators to improve the energy efficiency of public transport in Staffordshire. 


Staffordshire as an area emits 5.8 million tonnes of carbon each year, with the public sector contributing two per cent of these total emissions.


Earlier this year, the county’s eight district and borough councils joined the county council to tackle climate change through the Staffordshire Sustainability Board, which works to find joint ways of reducing carbon emissions.


Simon Tagg said: “I believe we achieve much more by working together than individually and by working more closely with our local authority colleagues and collaboratively with our residents, communities and businesses, we can all help to make a difference.”


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