Swindon people urged to have say on carbon footprint reduction

By Barrie Hudson - 18 November 2020

Community

People in Swindon are being asked to give feedback on the Council’s ambitious Carbon Reduction Strategy.

The strategy looks to make council operations carbon neutral by 2030, and includes wider plans to lead the borough towards net zero by 2050, delivering on Government targets.

The consultation, which can be accessed by visiting the council’s website, will be open until Friday 8 January 2021.

Residents can give their feedback on the plans and submit their own ideas. These will feed into an implementation plan for 2021 which will set out what the council plans to do to reach the objectives in the strategy over the coming years.

Coun Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said: “Protecting our environment is a key commitment for this council, and this ambitious strategy sets out how we plan to meet our pledge to become carbon neutral as an organisation and also support the wider borough to reduce its carbon emissions.

“The council will not be able to reduce Swindon’s total carbon emissions by itself so it is very important residents and businesses are engaged and we need people to come on this journey with us.

“I would encourage everyone to read the strategy and provide their feedback to help us develop these important plans that will lead our long-term approach to reach net zero.

“I would also urge everyone to start to think about the way you travel, work and live and how you can reduce your carbon footprint. 

"We will all need to make a change if we want to protect our environment.”

The final strategy is due to go before the full council for a decision early next year.

The Carbon Reduction Strategy forms part of the council’s wider leadership role to improve the environment. More than £15m has already been invested in low carbon interventions over recent years, including the construction of solar energy farms, the installation of electric vehicle charging points, the use of LED street lights and investment in electric vehicles.

Residents will be able to comment on how the council plans to reduce its own carbon footprint across the borough, building on work which has included installing LED lighting at STEAM and significantly reducing the amount of paper used for printing. 

New initiatives will take into account vehicle emissions, the amount of electricity used to power offices and other buildings, street lighting, business travel and heating.

The strategy includes a recent analysis of the borough’s overall sources of carbon emissions. This shows road travel, residential buildings and institutional buildings and facilities produce over two thirds of the current 1.5m tonnes of CO2 emission currently produced by the borough on a yearly basis.

The council will be looking to use all of its available powers to influence, educate and support residents and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. 

However, residents and businesses will need to play a key role in reducing their own carbon emissions if the borough is to come close to net zero before 2050.

The consultation asks residents to provide their input and ideas on how the council can support the wider community in reaching net zero in the coming years.

The consultation can be accessed at www.swindon.gov.uk/carbonreductionstrategy

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