Plan to make Ashfield operations carbon-neutral by 2030 is ‘absolute deadline’

Plans to make Ashfield Council’s operations carbon-neutral by 2030 will be an ‘absolute deadline’, with the authority working to reach the target earlier.

By Andrew Topping
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 1:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 1:45 pm
Coun David Hennigan, Ashfield Council executive lead member for climate action strategy.
Coun David Hennigan, Ashfield Council executive lead member for climate action strategy.

The council has approved its new climate change strategy outlining plans to meet the 2030 deadline and to ensure all external business is environmentally friendly within 30 years.

But the council’s leader says his administration plans to reach the target within the next few years, saving thousands of tonnes of carbon in the process.

The strategy, approved at the latest cabinet meeting, will see the council ensuring its fleet of vehicles is powered by hydrogen or electricity and promoting several environmentally-friendly travel schemes, including projects like cycle-to-work, car-sharing and investing in walking and cycling infrastructure.

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The authority has also committed to ensuring existing and new social homes are as energy-efficient as possible, as well as supporting homeowners and landlords with schemes.

The council also wants to cut the volume of waste across the district, including eliminating food waste going to landfills and promoting recycling schemes.

Coun Jason Zadrozny, council leader, told the cabinet: “We should be ambitious and 2030 is the absolute deadline. If we can bring that in years before, it will save thousands of tonnes in excess carbon, which is a wonderful thing.”

The plan also confirms the council will work with external partners to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2050.

This, the authority says, will require ‘significant and rapid change’ within the supply chains to allow the council different purchasing and investment options to meet carbon-neutral targets.

The plan comes in response to a zero per cent grading from action group Climate Emergency UK earlier this year.

The council said at the time it was because the climate action plan was yet to be published.

The authority has also invested in electric vehicle charging points, purchased 100 per cent renewable electricity and secured more than £5 million in Government funding to reduce emissions since 2020.

Coun Dave Hennigan, portfolio holder responsible for the plan, said: “We need to continue lobbying to Government because these measures come with a price, but it’s a price worth paying, so we can do our bit to help with climate change.”

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