Wakefield Council has pledged to become a Carbon Neutral organisation by 2030, and aims to get the District to carbon zero in the same timescale.

The UK’s current target is to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 but Wakefield Council recognises the value to go both further and faster to respond to the threat of climate change.

The Council has already made good progress, with a 55% reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 to 2017/18 and the motion will build on the current Energy Plan, which was approved by Cabinet last year.

Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “We recognise that we have a duty to act to limit the negative impacts of global warming and we want to take action to be one step ahead.

“The impacts of climate change on our health, wellbeing and economy are being felt locally as well as worldwide. We will work hard to ensure that the impact on our residents is reduced and we intend to do that quicker than previously agreed.

“We will also continue to oppose projects that impact negatively on both our district and the wider environment. HS2, for example, will have a massive negative carbon emissions impact on the UK. By their own figures the wider carbon impact of HS2 will create a massive 1,451,000 tonnes of embedded carbon associated with the construction that is due to take place over the next 15 years.”

The Energy Plan set an original target to reduce the organisation’s carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

Energy Plan activity to reduce carbon emissions includes:

Street lighting energy efficiency programme installing LEDs and controls
Building energy efficiency improvements delivered in partnership with ENGIE
Energy generation on Council land and buildings
Corporate vehicle fleet efficiencies e.g. increased use of electric vehicles
The Energy Plan also includes a range of activity to reduce wider district carbon emissions and these include:

Supporting residents to save energy and reduce fuel poverty through Council schemes e.g. heating improvement grants and a Council energy tariff. Over 8,000 residents have benefitted from almost 11,000 heating and insulation improvement measures through Council schemes to date.
Measures to lower vehicle carbon emissions and improve air quality e.g. installation of electric vehicle charging points
Supporting businesses with advice and grants to save energy and improving energy infrastructure to stimulate growth and investment
The Council’s Cabinet will now develop and report back to Council within six months on the specific plans and actions needed to reach this new target.