Council makes progress towards reaching net zero carbon emissions

Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images

Ely Cathedral. East Cambridgeshire District Council has outlined how it is making progress to achieving zero carbon emissions. Picture: PA Archive/PA Images - Credit: PA

East Cambridgeshire District Council has revealed the progress it is making towards reaching its overall aim of achieving net zero carbon emissions.

Among the areas where changes have been introduced include considering the area's environmental focus in planning decisions and encouraging working from home where possible to lower carbon emissions from travel.

The council has also switched to a 100pc renewable energy contract at its headquarters, and all street and car park lights managed by the council were changed to LED bulbs over the winter.

Meanwhile, the Wildlife Trust has identified three areas for tree and meadow planting to help make council-owned land assets richer in biodiversity.

These changes were introduced after the council declared a climate emergency in autumn 2019 and took action to explore what it could do to address the issue.

It created an Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan which outlined its top 20 actions for tackling climate change in 2020/21.

Cllr David Ambrose Smith, chairman of the Operational Services Committee, said: “The council’s dedication to reducing carbon emissions across the district has been underlined by the progress we have made towards meeting the goals we set out last year.

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“While we are incredibly proud of the work we have done so far, we know that we must not rest on our laurels and the creation of the second Action Plan will allow us to keep up the momentum we have gained since declaring a climate emergency.”

The term of the first Action Plan ends in June 2021 and the council has relaunched its Ideas Forum for residents to share their thoughts on what else could be done to further reduce carbon emissions.

Ideas can be submitted until February 28, and they will be collated and considered for the Second Action Plan.

Cllr Julia Huffer, Member Champion for Climate Change and the Natural Environment, said: “The reopening of the Ideas Forum provides our residents with the perfect opportunity to continue to have their say and send the council their ideas."

Residents can submit ideas by visiting the East Cambs website, emailing or by calling the Customer Services Team on 01353 665555.