New climate action plan aims to make Hucknall and Ashfield carbon-neutral by 2030

Ashfield District Council has revealed its plan to become a net-zero organisation by 2030 and to ensure all emissions in its investments and external links are reduced within 30 years.

By Andrew Topping
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 7:39 pm

Members of the council cabinet will review the plans at a meeting next week, with documents outlining how the authority will improve on its climate ratings.

It follows the council being graded zero per cent for its climate action plans earlier this year, with environmental organisation Climate Emergency UK issuing scathing gradings of its response to the crisis.

The council said the grading came when it was drawing up new climate plans, which it has now published for the first time.

Ashfield Council is looking at promoting cycle-to-work schemes.

Documents due before the cabinet confirm all council-controlled and indirect services will be made carbon-neutral by the end of this decade.

Measures include looking into electric and hydrogen vehicles in the council’s fleet, promoting low-carbon business travel like cycle-to-work schemes and car-sharing and investing in walking and cycling schemes.

The council also commits to ensuring existing and new social homes are as energy-efficient as possible and supporting homeowners with decarbonisation and retrofit schemes.

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It plans to find energy-efficient heating systems for all council-owned buildings, reduce the volume of waste produced across the district, eliminate food waste going to landfills and promote recycling.

And the authority will look at directly financing projects to reduce greenhouse gases.

Coun Dave Hennigan (Ind), cabinet member for climate action strategy, said: “The council takes its responsibilities to fight climate change seriously.

“Our strategy will be published on our website and is a work in progress as we do our bit to combat climate change. We are a green council and this strategy will make us even greener.”

He said the authority has been taking actions over the past four years to reduce emissions in the district.

This includes purchasing 100 per cent renewable electricity and securing more than £5 million in Government funding to reduce emissions since 2020.

But council papers add emissions need to be reduced significantly further year-on-year until 2050 to prevent the maximum amount of carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Figures show the majority of carbon emitted in the district comes from domestic properties, or 41 per cent, with a third from industry and commercial sectors.

The remaining 26 per cent comes from transport.