Durham County Council has released its plans to achieve net-zero by 2030.
This comes as there has been a reported 58% drop in carbon emissions since 2008 thanks to the council’s Climate Emergency Response Plan (CERP) that aimed to reduce emissions by 80% by 2030.
Following the success of the first Climate Emergency Response Plan, the council have approved a second that, rather than aim for an 80% reduction by 2030, aims for the council to be net zero in the same timeframe.
Cabinet Member for neighbourhoods and climate change, Councillor Mark Wilkes, said:
“Over the last year we have reviewed all our plans and are putting in place a new proactive plan to tackle climate change in County Durham.
Our actions so far have secured significant government funding to address climate change. Additional to the environmental benefits, tackling climate change extends to addressing issues such as fuel poverty, public health and fostering a green economy.
With rising energy bills our plan is committed to significantly increasing renewable energy production. This will help to protect frontline services by reducing council costs. The CERP will be instrumental in delivering a wide range of positive outcomes.”
The second CERP will build on the original plan by introducing another 127 schemes that will also address important issues such as fuel poverty, threats to ecology and the emphasis on needing a resilient electricity infrastructure.
With the increasing focus on the use of electric vehicles, the council will look to improve charging infrastructure by increasing the number of charge points county-wide and improving EV charging facilities at park and ride sites.
The plan will also include £5 million worth of investment to decarbonise the heating of council buildings and the disconnection of the heating to the gas network, instead considering a solar farm.
The first CERP was introduced at the beginning of 2020 and included over 100 different projects.