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Wednesday, 24 February 2021 02:21

Climate change progress needs support from council partners Featured

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WILTSHIRE Council has rejected claims it hasn’t made much progress after declaring a climate change emergency two years ago.

Speaking at a full council meeting on Tuesday, Cllr Richard Clewer, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate, said they had made “extremely good progress” on plans to reduce the council’s carbon emissions by 80 per cent since 2013/14.

“That has been achieved through a range of measures, including the introduction of LED street lighting, through work that is being done to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings, and work that is being done to move us over to a green energy tariff.”

The council has committed to being carbon neutral by 2020 but the Wiltshire Climate Alliance says it doubts whether this target can be achieved without significant progress.

Cllr Clewer said the council’s carbon emissions had fallen by 29 per cent over the past decade, while countywide emissions had fallen by 37 per cent between 2005 and 2018.

The council is now looking at plans to make further reductions, including building carbon zero new council homes, and using renewable energy sources such as solar panels.

Although the council still has to tackle the remaining 20 per cent, Cllr Clewer acknowledged that making further progress will be tough without help from other partners and stakeholders.

In a new report to mark the second anniversary of the climate emergency declaration in 2019, the WCA made five key recommendations on how the council can accelerate delivery.

Cllr Clewer added: “We can make a significant impact as a local authority, but we can’t do this alone, which is why we need to work closely with partners, communities and businesses to achieve this goal.

“Addressing our climate ambitions, both as an organisation and for Wiltshire as a whole, is a priority for Wiltshire Council.”

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