The air that we breathe

Looks like the council action taken to reduce carbon emissions across the authority are having some effect – according to a draft report on ways it is tackling the Climate Emergency.

It says that missions from B&NES council buildings and operations have been cut by two thirds (66%) compared to the baseline year of 2009. 

This has been achieved through a range of mitigation measures, covering building measures, street lighting, technology upgrades, greater efficiency, and renewable energy installation.

The latest data provided by the government shows CO2 emissions across the Bath and North East Somerset area have dropped to 671.3 ktCO2 – down from 695.6ktCO2 the previous year.

The draft report, to go before the council’s Climate Emergency and Sustainability Corporate Policy and Development Scrutiny Panel on Monday 24 January for review before being presented to full Council in March, outlines the progress made on delivering the council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan and its priorities for the coming year.

Councillor Sarah Warren, deputy leader and cabinet member for Climate and Sustainable Travel said: “When we declared a Climate Emergency in 2019, we committed to provide leadership to enable Bath and North East Somerset to achieve net-zero by 2030. As part of that commitment, we agreed to provide regular progress reports to the council.  An immense amount of work has been carried out over the past two years and we are having an impact, we must continue to work at pace with our communities, partners, local, regional and national government to deliver our climate priorities if the area is to reach the target of net zero 2030 .”

The report highlights key actions taken by the council over the past year including: 

  • Changing planning policy to require developers to build to higher levels of energy efficiency 
  • Introducing the first charging Clean Air Zone outside London to improve air quality
  • Developing an environmentally sustainable approach to purchasing  goods and services
  • Developing a new Transport Strategy ‘Journey to Zero’ setting out the changes needed to the way people move around to reduce transport emissions
  • Planting more trees 
  • Buying 100% renewable energy for  council-managed  buildings
  • Delivering low-energy new housing and retrofitting council-owned residential properties   

Among the measures to encourage more community action to reduce carbon emissions the council has: 

  • Set up the Zero Carbon Nature Positive Network website to help people share ideas
  • Held a series of Climate Emergency related events including the Inaugural Climate and Biodiversity Festival in the run up to COP26 
  • A series of community tree planting events throughout the planting season

The council is putting together an updated Climate Emergency Action Plan for 2022/23.  It includes:

  • Working with WECA and West of England councils on a regional Climate Emergency Action Plan
  • Launching a One Shared Vision partnership with key stakeholders to drive coordinated action to respond to the Climate Emergency  
  • Addressing skills, supply chain and delivery issues to speed up retrofit
  • Supporting businesses to decarbonise and transition to a low carbon economy
  • Delivering the first Liveable Neighbourhood schemes
  • Implementing of the Journey to Net Zero plan
  • Installing solar panels on Council property, including two more care homes
  • Helping to accelerate renewable energy delivery
  • Building a state-of-the-art, low carbon Recycling Hub in Keynsham

You can view the draft report to the Climate Emergency and Sustainability Corporate Policy and Development Scrutiny Panel here

Following review, it will be presented to Council on 24 March.

1 Comment

  1. I would like to see the actual figures (not just what BaNES are saying) for Queen’s Square! As a cabbie in Bath, I have never seen this square so blocked up every single day, like it is now there are traffic lights – that are not apparently serving a purpose!

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