EFFORTS continue to achieve carbon neutrality in Warwick district, despite the ongoing covid crisis say council chiefs.
Following ambitious targets set earlier this year by Warwick District Council, the authority has outlined the progress being made to become a zero-carbon organisation by 2025, and carbon neutral by 2030 in the wider district.
Despite the lockdown period, and with some restrictions still in place, the council has achieved a number of objectives.
They include –
· Planning permission granted for low carbon homes at Turpin Court.
· A programme of works to improve council houses, including measures to improve energy efficiency.
· A programme to upgrade the worst energy performance rated council homes will be launched after the first step of property surveys has been completed.
· A Citizens Assembly has been commissioned to start next month, to provide the council with external advice on prioritising areas.
· Nearly 50 electric charging points for WDC car parks will be installed in the spring.
· From October, the council will be switching to green electricity. It has been estimated this will save 2,470 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
· A report for energy savings in the top six energy consuming council buildings is to be considered by the executive on October 1.
· The ‘Better Points Sustainable Travel’ scheme originally trialled in Leamington, is now being rolled out across the district’s towns with particularly in light of Commonwealth Games.
· The first tree planting schemes will be implemented in this winter’s tree-planting season – subject to approval on 1st October 1.
· Two electric pool cars are now available for use by council staff.
· Funding has been established to introduce electric charging for taxis and incentives for taxi drivers to switch to electric vehicles.
· All events supported by the council have guidance on being plastic-free.
· The ‘Refill Scheme’, encouraging residents to refill water containers, has been extended to 85 outlets across the district, to reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles.
· The council has eliminated ten plastic sources from its organisation.
District councillor and environmental spokesman Alan Rhead commented: “This progress is due to the hard work and commitment of the council’s officers, despite being in lockdown, for which I am most grateful. The key piece of work for the next couple of months is to establish carbon monitoring so that we can report regularly to members on our progress towards zero carbon.
“We have the baseline but monitoring and recording progress is being established. With the South Warwickshire initiative now in place I am expecting not only more progress but also some economies of scale as we work together with our Stratford district neighbours.”