Rolling out a ‘green’ fleet, running electric park and ride buses and creating one of the first zero-carbon industrial estates in the UK are among bold plans being considered to tackle climate change.
Leicestershire County Council is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and is set to invest £450,000 of seed funding to kick-start work on wide-ranging plans.
Switching to a green electricity tariff, launching a major tree planting programme and working with developers and others to build ‘green’ new homes are also mooted in a new report published today (Thursday).
We are a green council and tackling climate change is top of our agenda. We’ve seen real change and initiatives such as LED street lights and solar panels have enabled us to cut our CO2 emissions by over 60 per cent, reduce our wider greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent and halve the amount of office waste we produce.Person:Nick Rushton, council leader
“It’s clear there is a climate emergency and we’re committed to thinking globally and acting locally. That’s why we’re redoubling out efforts. And the investment and long list of projects we’re exploring signals our determination to tackle this head on.
Steps already taken include:
- working with Leicester City Council to launch Fosse Energy, offering low-cost, renewable energy
- installing 872 kilowatts of solar panels across 30 council and other public-sector buildings – and a biomass boiler at County Hall
- upgrading 68,000 street lights to LEDs as part of a planned £25 million investment programme – cutting carbon emissions by 79 per cent and electricity consumption by 63 per cent
- signing the UK100 pledge, underlining our commitment to clean energy
If approved, the council’s Environment Strategy and Action Plan will be refreshed to reflect these more ambitious plans and brought back to cabinet and scrutiny in stages next year.
The report will be discussed by the council’s cabinet next Friday (13 September) – watch the meeting online
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Plans are progressing for a zero-carbon industrial site on land at Barrow Lane in Quorn - this would be only the second carbon neutral industrial site in the UK. It’s part of wider plans for a solar farm which would generate enough electricity to supply 2,450 homes or offset all of the energy used by County Hall.
In May, the council declared a climate emergency and agreed to make its own operations carbon neutral by 2030, work with others, lobby Government and to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius.