South Northants council launches bid to find out district's carbon footprint

A £25,000 investigation has been launched by South Northamptonshire Council to look into the levels of carbon dioxide emitted in the district.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 5:15 pm
South Northamptonshire Council has launched a bid to find out the district's carbon footprint.

Carbon emissions and climate change have been a prominent issue for local councils in the county, with a number such as Northamptonshire County Council and Northampton Borough Council declaring ‘climate emergencies’.

Now a working group of up to 10 members of SNC is being supported by the £25k budget, which has come from the council’s reserves, to assess the district’s existing carbon footprint and to review potential actions that could help limit climate change.

Cabinet member for environmental services, Councillor Dermot Bambridge, said: “The strength of public opinion on climate change both locally and nationally is clear. We must do our part as a council to address carbon reduction in order to protect the health and wellbeing of future generations.”

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The investigation follows parliament’s declaration of a climate emergency and the setting of a new target for the UK to be net zero by 2050.

The council does produce an annual report about greenhouse gas emissions which arise from its business operations. This includes emissions from energy usage at the Forum and Tove Depot, Brackley and Towcester leisure centres, emissions from business mileage and fuel used by the council’s fleet.

Emissions for 2018/19 were down by nine per cent compared to the levels they were at 10 years ago.

A council report, discussed at cabinet on Monday (September 9), adds: “Since 2012/13 over 360 tonnes of CO2 equivalent have been offset by generating electricity onsite at the leisure centres and Tove depot using Photovoltaic (PV) panels and reductions in electricity usage.

“However, while electricity usage has been greatly reduced, gas usage has increased at almost the same rate and despite the successful installation of PV panels at some sites the electricity they generated in 2018/19 only offsets around 1.6 per cent of total council emissions. The council is considering what further action it can take on this important issue.”