Council approves new measures to get to net zero by 2030

Cllr John Gardner said that it is "essential" that Stevenage Borough Council works towards a net zero target

Cllr John Gardner said that it is "essential" that Stevenage Borough Council works towards a net zero target - Credit: Stevenage Borough Council

Is a greener future on the horizon for the residents, visitors and businesses of Stevenage?

Stevenage Borough Council’s Executive has agreed to a range of new measures to support its climate change journey with the goal of becoming a net zero emissions town by 2030.

After declaring a climate emergency in June 2019, the goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2030 comes off the back of an annual 350 kiloton reduction in carbon based on 2018 levels.

This is equivalent to 350,000 return flights from London to New York, or 1.2 billion miles driven in a diesel car.

Councillor John Gardner, executive member for environment and regeneration, said: "Working towards Stevenage’s target to become carbon neutral by 2030 is an ambitious target, and it is essential that we take the lead as the town’s local authority.

"This is just the beginning of our work to get to net zero; we will take the lead in climate action but we will need the full and vigorous support of local people, businesses and funding from central government to get to net zero.

"We must act now to mitigate the worst consequences of climate change on our world.”

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The new steps agreed include plans to migrate vehicle fleets to low or zero carbon from 2028, reduce energy use in council buildings prior to the council’s move to the new low carbon hub in 2026, and support residents and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint with an education campaign.

The council also aspires to provide £8,000 to offer grants to businesses to help them transition to cut carbon and make low carbon investments, subject to the 2022/2023 budget.

Officers will write a submission for the council’s executive to Greg Hands MP, Energy and Climate Change Minister, making the urgent case for central government to undertake a series of further measures.

SBC has the power to reduce up to 30 per cent of the town’s overall emissions. There are simple steps all residents can do now to have an impact on reducing carbon footprint, including walking or cycling to local destinations, even if it is just a few times a week.

For more ideas to cut your carbon footprint, visit stevenage.gov.uk/about-the-council/climate-change/you-and-climate-change.

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