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Council reveals the challenge of meeting its net zero target

11 Dec 2022 2 minute read
Exhaust, image by Pixabay

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

Cardiff Council has revealed the huge challenge it has on its hands in reaching its net zero targets.

At a Cardiff Council environmental scrutiny committee, it was revealed that the authority would still be producing 16,778 tonnes of carbon dioxide if it limited its actions to the current green projects it had so far.

These projects include transitioning to low emission vehicles, building decarbonisation, full replacement of street lighting to LED and a tree planting and biodiversity programme known as Coad Caerdydd.

At the scrutiny meeting, held on Thursday 8 December, the manager of the council’s energy and sustainable development team, Gareth Harcombe, said: “You can see that there is quite a big gap. There are lots more projects coming in.”

The council currently has an estates decarbonisation plan which includes an approved target to remove 60% of carbon emissions by 2030.

Projected emissions (in green) if Cardiff Council continues with the current green projects

Strategic response

Referring to a graph which depicted the scale of the challenge that lies before the council, Mr Harcombe added: “The challenge is, even with that green line there is 16,000 tonnes to remove and only eight years left to do that.

“Our estates team are working currently on a strategy to see if we can do better than a 60% reduction. I am sure we can.”

Future projects that the council has planned include cutting staff commutes, working to develop and use more renewable energy and a major behaviour change programme.

The report presented to committee members on Thursday was a first annual review of One Planet Cardiff – the council’s strategic response to the climate emergency. Cardiff Council aims to achieve a carbon zero target by 2030.

Carbon neutral goal

A line in the report states: “We know that the remainder of the journey to 2030’s carbon neutral goal remains challenging.

“Many of the initial easy options have already been instigated (LED replacement bulbs etc), however the vast majority of required work in regards to scale and resource still lies ahead.

“This will need to address much harder problems, especially around large scale / estate wide refit, insulation, the removal of fossil fuels from our heating systems, and the need to increase renewable electricity supplies in line with growing electric heat demands.”

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1 year ago

The behaviour change section of the plan is very interesting.
In short, the plebs will be walking or cycling.

Obviously only a few can afford heat pumps etc for their properties, so they’d better get used to cold and dark winters.

And I won’t even start on what is in store for Welsh farmers inthe next few years.

Cynan again
Cynan again
1 year ago

So are we talking about Operational carbon only? Since we are only talking about the Council emissions, not the city’s emissions, instal heat pumps in all council buildings. Add solar to the roofs. Add mini wind turbines. Switch your fleet to EV and install chargers delivering electricity bought from a green energy provider. Incentivise vehicle sharing. Look into Carbon capture mechanisms which will provide you with negative carbon values. Consider areas which don’t need street lighting at all. Consider methods of reducing your maintenance burden (EG switch some mowed areas to wildflower meadow, or give them over to civic groups… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Cynan again

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