Council to outline the challenge of its carbon neutral goal

A carbon audit, outlining just how much TWBC is contributing to climate change through its CO2 emissions is to be presented to councillors at tonight’s [Thursday, February 17] Communities and Economic Development Cabinet Advisory Board.

The audit has been compiled to show the extent of the challenge of the Council’s ‘ambition’ to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2030.

The pledge was made by Councillors at a Full Council meeting in 2019 and is similar to other targets laid down by neighbouring authorities such as Tonbridge & Malling and Kent County Council.

While the Carbon audit shows that TWBC has been able to reduce its emissions by 43 per cent in 2018/19 compared to five years earlier due to energy saving measures such as LED light lighting, the Council still produces around 3,473.4 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Five buildings emit more than half [53 per cent] of the Council’s total emissions, including the borough sports centres, due to their swimming pools, as well as the Town Hall, which accounts for around 14.8 per cent.

The Council’s head of sustainability, Cllr Matt Bailey, said: “The latest carbon audit shows the Council has already made progress in cutting its own carbon footprint. This not only benefits the environment but also reduces the Council’s energy bills. So it’s a win-win situation.”

But he added that in order to meet its carbon zero goal, outside contracts may also have to become carbon neutral.

Around 27 per cent of the Council’s total carbon footprint is generated by contractors such as waste collector, Urbaser.

Cllr Bailey said: “The Council has an ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030 and this remains a key priority of the current Conservative administration. So we’re actively looking at other investment opportunities, both within our own estate and further afield, to further reduce our carbon emissions.”

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