East Cambs councillors take next steps to achieving net zero carbon emissions with contract switch

PUBLISHED: 15:29 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:30 14 October 2020

Cllr David Ambrose Smith (left), chairman of the finance and assets committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said the district can become a better place to live, work and visit by pushing forward with the net zero plans. Picture: EAST CAMBRIDGESHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL/ARCHANT

Cllr David Ambrose Smith (left), chairman of the finance and assets committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said the district can become a better place to live, work and visit by pushing forward with the net zero plans. Picture: EAST CAMBRIDGESHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL/ARCHANT

Archant

Councillors have taken the next steps towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by switching council buildings and car parks to a renewable energy scheme.

Cllr David Ambrose Smith, chairman of the finance and assets committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said the district can become a better place to live, work and visit by pushing forward with the net zero plans. Picture: EAST CAMBRIDGESHIRE DISTRICT COUNCILCllr David Ambrose Smith, chairman of the finance and assets committee at East Cambridgeshire District Council, said the district can become a better place to live, work and visit by pushing forward with the net zero plans. Picture: EAST CAMBRIDGESHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL

Since October 1, East Cambridgeshire District Council’s (ECDC) head office, The Grange on Nutholt Lane, Ely, alongside its commercial buildings in the city and Littleport have switched to a 100 per cent renewable energy green tariff electricity contract.

Lights across all of the council-owned car parks have also been changed to LED bulbs.

The moves are two of 20 commitments of the action plan to mitigate climate change and boost the natural environment in East Cambridgeshire.

Cllr David Ambrose Smith, chairman of the operational services committee at ECDC, responsible for the council’s action plan said: “By pushing forward with these commitments, we are ensuring that East Cambridgeshire remains a great place to live, work and visit for years to come.

“I’m looking forward to seeing our continued progress over the next few months.”

The moves come after council members voted in favour of adopting a new natural environment supplementary planning document (SPD) and agreeing to consult, from Tuesday, October 13, on a climate change SPD.

Other commitments on the council’s action plan include embedding a greater culture of home working, already in force due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and investigating the idea of expanding electric charge points in the district.

MORE: Council response to Ely Extinction Rebellion letter

Cllr David Brown, chairman of the finance and assets committee at ECDC, responsible for the council’s buildings and car parks, said: “We must make changes in all the ways we can, including our assets.

“These changes to 100 per cent renewable energy for our electricity and LED lighting are just two of the many actions we, as a council, are taking to ensure East Cambridgeshire reaches net zero carbon by 2050 or earlier.

“We hope other councils follow suit to help tackle climate change and boost the natural environment.”

The council is now looking at its gas usage to see if carbon emissions can be offset through tree planting or other measures, as well as replacing the council-owned street lighting to LED bulbs.

For more about the council’s strategy and action plan to help mitigate climate change and boost the natural environment, visit: https://www.eastcambs.gov.uk/content/climate-change-0.

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