Burnley Council sets out net zero carbon ambitions
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As part of wider work, the council has already committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. However, the council is also working towards being net zero at the earliest opportunity.
Being carbon neutral means achieving a balance between how much CO2 emissions are produced against carbon offsets. Whereas net zero means all emissions are reduced to as close to zero as possible.
The UK target is to be net zero by 2050, with an emissions reduction of 78% by 2035. Burnley Council is working alongside this target but are also carrying out further analysis and modelling works to determine if an earlier net zero target is feasible.
Following the council’s declaration in 2019 of a climate emergency, officers worked to produce a comprehensive strategy to set out a programme on how it intends to address the challenges of climate change.
The strategy was published in February 2022 and set out seven priority themes the programme would tackle and an action plan on how that would be achieved. These covered emissions from vehicles, buildings and products, renewable energy, enhancing the natural environment, flood risk, and involvement by residents, partners and others. The action plan continues to be regularly updated.
Further reports on what work has already been done to reduce the authority’s environmental impact, and what is planned over the coming years, will be discussed by scrutiny and executive committees next month.
Councillor Sue Graham, the council’s lead climate change executive member, said: “Burnley Council has already made good progress with some notable achievements in increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points in the borough, securing additional funding though the Cosy Homes in Lancashire scheme to improve insulation and energy efficiency in homes across the borough, and planting 18,500 trees last year.
“We recognise there’s still a lot more to do and we’re committed to making reducing our carbon footprint part of the work we do, as far as we can, in order to meet our target.
“We set ourselves an ambitious target to become carbon neutral by 2030 that I’m confident we can achieve. However, the ultimate goal has to be achieving net zero at the earliest opportunity.”