Mossy Life

Shropshire Council has seen a further decrease in its gross carbon emissions in the last year, according to a performance report due before Cabinet next week (Wednesday 7 June 2023).

Latest update from Shropshire Council Newsroom:

The Corporate Carbon Performance Monitoring Report 2022 cautions the past three years of carbon monitoring have been influenced significantly by the pandemic, and an absence of pre-pandemic data to use as a benchmark makes it difficult to identify meaningful trends.

The one per cent decrease in emissions comes over the 12 months that have seen Shropshire Council return to normal provision of services after disruption caused by the pandemic.

Shropshire Council’s switch to green energy suppliers in 2020 resulted in a 100% reduction in its carbon footprint for electricity, and the effect of the pandemic on services also resulted in a downward trend.

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport, said:-

“While a one per cent decrease may be seen as disappointing against our target of 10 per cent year on year, it is still a positive step towards our determination to reduce carbon emissions and achieve net zero by 2030.

“We are committed to achieving our net zero goal, but it will take time, and the decline will not be linear. We have made progress and have made sure to act on the obvious solutions first. Switching to renewable electricity gave us a huge reduction and that will carry forward, but we must continue to pursue other strategies.

“The last three years have affected everyone; how we deliver services is evolving, and that too will influence the figures. Commissioned and outsourced services have contributed to the total, and we are developing a more consistent measuring framework to support accurate data collection as part of our action plan, and this will also give us a consistent method of measuring and managing our emissions.”

To achieve the net zero target Shropshire Council has adopted a Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan which has three key themes:

  • Power Down (carbon footprint reduction)
  • Power Up (renewable energy generation and storage)
  • Biodiversity (carbon capture and storage).

A wide range of actions, projects and initiatives have been completed, and many more are currently in progress or are planned for future years.

These include developing the county’s EV charging structure, retro-fitting council-owned buildings to make them more energy efficient, staff training, advice for businesses and Shropshire residents, the community tree scheme, and developing renewable energy solutions such as the Maesbury Road solar farm in Oswestry.

There are also long-term ambitious plans to develop a community heat network in north Shrewsbury, and to progress a pyrolysis project which would create valuable biochar and generate energy which could be sold.

Ian added:-

“It is worth noting that Shropshire Council is one of only a few councils to report the full extent of its carbon emissions, including indirect emissions, and we want to remain open to scrutiny as we progress.

“A number of projects and initiatives which will help to reduce corporate carbon emissions are still being developed and have yet to deliver planned savings, but I am confident we are heading in the right direction.”

Further information

Shropshire Council declared a climate emergency in May 2019, and in December 2020 adopted a Climate Strategy and Action Plan, which establishes the objective of achieving net-zero carbon performance for the council by 2030.

A Climate Change and Carbon Reduction Advisory Board was established in September 2022 to act as a ‘critical friend’ and to assist the implementation and review of the council’s Climate Strategy.

The Council’s corporate footprint represents only around one per cent of Shropshire’s total carbon footprint, but the council is able to influence as much as 33 per cent of emissions through its regulatory and support functions. The council is already supporting a wide range of projects and initiatives designed to support local businesses and communities to reduce their carbon emissions.

Quoted from Shropshire Council’s online newsroom. Original article can be found here: Shropshire Council reports drop in carbon emissions – Shropshire Council Newsroom

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Caroline Talbot
Author: Caroline Talbot