Agenda item

Climate Emergency Advisory Panel - Carbon Reduction Plan

To consider and decide on the recommendations as set out in the attached report.

 

Decision:

RESOLVED –

 

  1. That the results of the 2020 Carbon audit of the Council’s own operations, services, and buildings be approved.
  2. That the recommended carbon reduction pathway and modelled scenarios as set out in the report and Corporate Carbon Descent Plan to achieve the carbon neutral target by 2030 be approved.
  3. That the Council’s first Corporate Carbon Descent Plan and actions for 2021 – 2022 and its trajectory with the aim to achieve its carbon neutral target by 2030 for its own operation, services, and buildings be approved. 

REASON FOR DECISION:

Approval would recognise the Plan as a strategic policy document which would inform key Council decision making and the Five-Year Plan.

 

Minutes:

Karin Grey, Sustainability Manager introduced the report that set out the results of the green audit and the actions that could be taken to meet the ambition to make the Council’s operations neutral by 2030 and to inform the next iteration of the Council’s Five-Year Plan.

 

Discussion and responses to Members questions included the following:

 

-       The report focused on the Council’s own carbon footprint.

-       It proposed possible actions that could be taken to meet the Council’s own ambition to make its own estate and services carbon neutral by 2030.

-       The Borough wide carbon reduction ambition will be the next phase of work activity.

-       The audit looked at data for the financial year 2018/19 to determine the Council’s energy usage that contributed to the current level of carbon emissions.

-       It was important to understand where the main emissions were that would enable the Council to deliver the more immediate reductions that would make the greatest impact. 

-       The audit was undertaken in compliance with the Greenhouse Gas protocol and divided emissions into scopes 1 to 3.  The first related to the burning of gas and fuel use, the second to the purchase of electricity and the third from the Council’s own purchased goods and services. 

-       The results of the audit were included in the report.  But to note, scope 3 that included waste and leisure services made up about half of the Council’s total emissions, but this was quite usual across all Councils.

-       To meet the target the Council would need to reduce emissions rapidly and at least by 49% by 2025. 

-       The options considered included:

o   Making properties more energy efficient.

o   Upgrading equipment including LED lighting.

o   Replacing fossil fuels with ‘green electricity’

o   Generating own renewable electricity.

o   Reviewing activities to make them more efficient.

o   Offsetting those emissions that could not be reduced.

-       Looking at the options available would allow the Council to map a path to become carbon neutral by 2030.  Details were also included showing the financial requirements needed to achieve this.

-       Based on the data and modelling undertaken, the Corporate Carbon Descent Plan was put together which would also influence and inform the Council’s future corporate strategies, planning and policies.

-       Some of the actions identified in the Corporate Carbon Descent Plan included:

o   To undertake a carbon impact assessment toolkit – to improve on the current one.

o   To ensure that all projects and work activities undertook an assessment.

o   To undertake a review of the Council’s property portfolio – to carry out an audit to assess the estate and Council assets. 

o   To develop a procurement strategy for renewable electricity.

o   To develop a communications plan that detailed the Council’s activity to the wider audience.

-       The document was a living document that would be reviewed annually.

-       It was noted that when the disposal of assets were being considered that the inclusion of any mandatory contractual terms with regards to carbon reduction would have to be considered carefully as there was the potential they would have a significant negative impact on property valuations.  This would need to be taken into account during the options appraisal.

-       Kent CC had the same target of 2030 for their own estates and operations. 

-       The impacts that the de-carbonisation of electricity was having on the Borough were significant.  2020 was considered to be the greenest year for electricity production with many records broken, including that the input from coal was the lowest on record and now made up a very small percentage of total electricity production. 

-       Records were also set for the highest level of wind power and solar power.

 

RESOLVED –

 

1.    That the results of the 2020 Carbon audit of the Council’s own operations, services, and buildings be approved.

2.    That the recommended carbon reduction pathway and modelled scenarios as set out in the report and Corporate Carbon Descent Plan to achieve the carbon neutral target by 2030 be approved.

3.    That the Council’s first Corporate Carbon Descent Plan and actions for 2021 – 2022 and its trajectory with the aim to achieve its carbon neutral target by 2030 for its own operation, services, and buildings be approved. 

 

REASON FOR DECISION:

Approval would recognise the Plan as a strategic policy document which would inform key Council decision making and the Five-Year Plan.

 

Supporting documents: