21 Jan BFC – Council’s plan to be Carbon Neutral by 2050
Plans to help tackle climate change and make the borough carbon neutral by 2050, have been released this week by Bracknell Forest Council.
The Government department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has calculated the borough’s carbon footprint to be 443kT CO2e (443 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions), which is made up of 36.9 per cent domestic, 32.7 per cent transport and 30.3 per cent industry/commerce (council related activities account for 1.5% of this output.)
Although the Climate Change Strategy itself is only a draft at this stage, the council has outlined how it will achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 through two key strands:
- To reduce carbon emissions that are under the council’s control – this focuses on the emissions that the council generates itself, through its own activities.
- To address the changes needed by the wider community – some of these the council can enable, but most require behavioural change within the community.
Some key projects outlined in the plan are already underway, such as maximising our waste and recycling services. The introduction of food waste collections from March 2021 will divert around 3,900 tonnes of food waste from landfill and instead it will be made into energy that powers homes and fertiliser that helps crops grow. In addition, residual waste collections will move from every two weeks to every three weeks to help maximise the use of the recycling services.
Last year the council secured £900,000 from the Green Homes Grant to help improve the energy efficiency of poor energy rated homes. A further £1.4 million bid is in progress to help fund improvement projects like installing low carbon heating on similar properties.
Executive Member for Environment, Cllr Mrs Dorothy Hayes, MBE, said:
“Our Climate Change Strategy is the step by step plan we can follow to ensure we reduce our carbon emissions as much as possible.
“The government has set the target to be carbon neutral by 2050, we fully believe we can achieve this with the help of our partners, local businesses, residents, schools and young people. This isn’t a quick fix; it requires a huge community effort.
“Reducing our impact on climate change has always been an important factor for the council and over the past 13 years we have undertaken many projects to reduce our carbon footprint. Now we need to go that extra mile and look at every aspect of our personal and working lives and think, how can I do this in a greener way?”
The draft Climate Change Strategy will be reviewed at the meeting of the council’s Executive on Tuesday, 26 January and if agreed, will be discussed further at full council on Wednesday, 24 February.
Read more about the council’s actions to help fight climate change on our website.