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 STOKE-ON-TRENT, NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME, STAFFORDSHIRE MOORLANDS, SOUTH CHESHIRE

County council cuts carbon emissions in half



Staffordshire County Council has cut its carbon emissions in half in less than five years it has been revealed – and work is ongoing to reach net zero by 2050.



The authority declared a climate emergency in summer 2019, when it pledged to become carbon-neutral in the coming decades.

On Wednesday (November 15) cabinet members were told that action to cut carbon emissions had resulted in a 50% reduction since the climate emergency was declared, according to latest reports.



Councillor Simon Tagg, cabinet member for environment, infrastructure and climate change, said: “This achievement is a testament to our dedication and hard work. It’s also a stark reminder that our journey is far from over.

“We’ve devised a comprehensive climate change action plan.This blueprint outlines our strategy for tackling the remaining half of our carbon emissions.“It’s a roadmap that signifies our determination to continue this vital work and pave the way toward a sustainable future. The county council has committed through its strategic plan to strive to make Staffordshire more sustainable.”


From 2021/22 to 2022/23 there was a “significant reduction” in carbon emissions of around 2,611 tCo2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) – around 9% – the report presented to Wednesday’s cabinet meeting said. It added: “This reduction in emissions comes from a number of areas such as reduction in gas use in corporate buildings, reduction in gas use in maintained schools, reduction in electricity use within Waste Management and the use of Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) within some of our heavy fleet vehicles.”


Residents and communities are also being assisted to reduce their emissions through funding projects. Last year £5.75m was awarded to 427 properties in the county, with 540 energy efficiency measures installed through the Staffordshire Warmer Homes scheme’


A council members’ Climate Change Action Fund supported 73 projects in Staffordshire Last year. Funding totalling £72,500 was offered to community groups, charities, schools, and parish councils to tackle climate change.


Stafford’s former Kingston Centre – the new home of St Leonard’s Primary School – has benefited from £795,000 funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund. The site has been retrofitted with six air source heat pumps, high insulation levels and solar PV installation and the measures are expected to save 150 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Councillor Jonathan Price, cabinet member for education and SEND (special educational needs and disabilities), said: “It’s a fantastic facility this authority has helped to refurbish from a former empty county council building into a fantastic new school. A huge amount of work has been done around the green agenda on that particular site – we’ve done some biodiversity gain work as well with some flood mitigation, new trees, bat boxes and bug hotels.”


But cabinet members were warned that future reporting of annual carbon emission reduction was likely to show “slower progress in the years to come “due to the nature of the challenge before the authority”. Councillor Julia Jessel, cabinet member for health and care, said: “As we go along this journey, continuing to reduce CO2 emissions is going to become more and more difficult.


“We’ve already picked the low-hanging fruit, we’re still making progress but it will become proportionally more difficult. Therefore I think it is really important that we tackle one of the other key elements of CO2 – reducing the amount of waste we produce as a society.

“I know our recycling rates within Staffordshire have plateaued out and are not where we would like to see them. I really welcome within the action plan that there is an action to develop a Staffordshire materials recovery facility to reduce haulage requirements, but I would like to also see in the future Staffordshire continue to be operating with the ambition that it had when it developed the waste to energy plant at Four Ashes.”

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