Greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut by half over next two decades, says council

PUBLISHED: 17:00 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:39 01 February 2018

Plans for rubbish, traffic jams and council offices form part of North Somerset's long-term strategy.

Plans for rubbish, traffic jams and council offices form part of North Somerset's long-term strategy.

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A target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in North Somerset by half is due to be ratified next week.

North Somerset Council’s Conservative executive wants to ‘reaffirm the authority’s commitment to action on climate change’ by cutting emissions by 50 per cent by 2035.

Deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees said: “Everyone has got to be responsible for the reduction in carbon emissions across the whole country, and the world in fact, and I think if we do our best hopefully that will encourage residents to do their contribution.

“We have got one or two hotspots with vehicle emission fumes which are an issue but we have all got to do what we can.”

Between 2005 and 2015 carbon emissions in North Somerset were reduced by 28.5 per cent, but the council is keen to do more.

In 2014, greenhouse gas emissions for North Somerset were measured as equivalent to 5.8 tonnes per person.

A report to the executive says: “As part of our commitment to action on climate change, the council is adopting a local carbon reduction target. A carbon reduction target agreed across West of England local authorities, including North Somerset, is to reduce carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2035 from a 2014 baseline.”

While the council seeks a greener future it accepts it can only achieve so much.

It says: “It is recognised local authorities have very little influence over some emissions, because of this emissions from motorways, international aviation and shipping are not included in local calculations.

“There are however many areas over which council action can have considerable influence and action on climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy is relevant to a range of services delivered by the council.”

Changes include improving greener transport so people are inclined to cycle, walk or catch a bus than they are to drive alone.

A reduction on household waste, more efficient street lights and reducing energy consumption at its offices also form part of the council’s strategy.

The council report said: “This is a challenging target and there will be many initiatives beyond the scope of authority’s control that will impact on this, but there are local actions which can and should be taken to contribute towards the shift to a low carbon society.”

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