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Carbon off-setting an option for council

The need to use ‘carbon offsetting’ to reach its net zero target by 2050 is being considered by Staffordshire County Council.


The authority has already reduced its carbon emissions by half, having declared a climate emergency in 2019.


Now Simon Tagg, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Environment, Infrastructure and Climate Change, has welcomed a working group report which sets out options and a recommendation for offsetting choices essential if the authority is to reach net zero.


He said: “We have already made changes that produce quick wins, such as replacing street lights with low-energy LED bulbs, or upgrading old school buildings to make them more heat and energy efficient, but it will take a greater effort to take the more difficult final steps needed to reach met zero by 2050.


“We are open to different ideas and suggestions about how we might achieve that, but each one will have to be scrutinised closely.”


Cllr Tagg was speaking before Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet received a report from a working group of scrutiny committee councillors, which suggests planting more than a million trees on suitable sites including county council owned green spaces.


As well as trees off-setting up to tonnes of the council’s carbon emissions, the report says that larger woods and forests could be used for leisure, tourism and, over time, generate an income.


Simon Tagg added: “The report focuses on possible ways that the Council can meet its commitment to the environment and support Staffordshire’s economy, while also enhancing the county’s quality of life.


“At this stage we are being asked to consider the report and we will respond in due course.”


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