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Council claims to be on target for climate goal

Published on 2023-06-03 10:02:45 source:NBC News

A council said it was on track to beat its target for becoming carbon net zero in the next eight years.

Devon County Council set the target in 2013 to reduce carbon emissions by 70%, by 2030.

It plans to make the extra 30% reduction by offsetting through projects like tree planting.

It has revealed that by the end of 2021, it had made reductions of 53%, with a senior councillor calling the progress "really, really amazing".

Cabinet member for climate change, environment and transport, Councillor Andrea Davis said: "Over the next months and years, we will continue to reduce emissions where we can through projects including increasing the proportion of electric vehicles in our fleet."

A report found the reduction was partly down to projects such as installing heat pumps and replacing older boilers, as well as the ongoing replacement of streetlighting with more efficient LEDs, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

The pandemic has also had an impact with council staff reducing emissions due to being "comfortable using video conferencing rather than travelling for meetings," the report said.

However, leader of the opposition, Councillor Julian Brazil was critical, saying: "We seem to be patting ourselves on the back that we've cut our carbon dioxide emissions by 53%.

"Most of those weren't because we were trying to cut our carbon dioxide oxide emissions, they just happened to be as a consequence of other things.

"It's not proactive enough. It's not taking it seriously enough."

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