Council fails to meet carbon emission target

St Albans and District council has failed to meet its ‘current reduction target’ for carbon emissions of 5% per annum  and is reducing this to an annual reduction of 1.8% per annum.

See council Environmental Issues Report click here

co2St Albans and District Council had a reduction target of 5%  per annum but latest figures for 2012 show that they have been unable to achieve this and they describe the original aim as ‘unrealistic’. In response they have announced that they will be reducing the annual target to 1.8%.

The full report Page 18 says:

‘3.4 Targets
Having monitored and reported our greenhouse gas emissions for a period of
6 years we can now deduce that the current reduction target of 5% per annum
is not feasible within our current resources. We have decided to set a longer
term target to reduce our emissions by 20% of 2008/09 levels by 2020. This is
equivalent to an annual reduction of 1.8% per annum since the baseline year.
In order to achieve this over the next 7 years we will need to achieve an
annual reduction of 2.3% per year.’

Transition St Albans is disappointed with the failure to achieve the 5% target and with the Council’s decision to relax its targets rather than to redouble its efforts to make a difference for our community. Our growing membership shows that the people of St Albans care a great deal about climate change and want to  halt the global warming caused by our unceasing use of fossil fuels and increasing carbon emissions.

Other authorities can do it!

Oxford City Council ‘ Carbon Reduction at the heart of everything we do’ managed to achieve its annual 3% reduction targets from 2011 and has now increased its year on year target to 5% .

Bedford Borough Council has set an aspirational target to reduce its carbon
emissions by 40% from its baseline 2009/10 year by March 2015. This target is outlined within the Council’s Carbon Management Plan click here.

Camden Council in 2010/11 reduced emissions by 9%, exceeding the average 7% reduction reported by local authorities across the country. In 2012/13 they continued to make carbon savings, and are now on target to achieve their 2017 ambitious target of 27% reduction.

How could the council help to reduce carbon emissions?

Our council – whatever their political leanings – holds the responsibility, leadership and budget to reduce carbon emissions on behalf of the community in St Albans.  If they have found it challenging to reduce carbon emissions, rather than reduce carbon emission targets they should be re-invigorating their environmental policies.

They could provide further help for Transition St Albans and other committed groups in the district to do more work in this sphere. This isn’t a game. We do what we do because there is a climate threat and it requires us all to respond now with practical actions.

The council is currently starting work on an overarching strategy to ‘coordinate and focus…approach to climate change mitigation’

Transition St Albans calls on the Council to make this an ambitious document which moves St Albans & district towards a sustainable, lower carbon future, playing our part in tackling climate change. We think the Council could and should take a lead on this issue for the whole district, bringing the business and voluntary sectors together to unite around a common goal of creating a sustainable district.

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