UK council reports rise in carbon emissions despite 2030 net zero target

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Shropshire Council has reported a 6% rise in carbon dioxide emissions for the year 2022-23, reaching 17,845 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, as outlined in its annual Corporate Carbon Performance Monitoring Report.

The council has reaffirmed its commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2030, despite the recent increase.

The council attributes the rise primarily to heightened electricity and gas consumption driven by increased IT demands during the Covid-19 pandemic, along with greater fuel usage for essential services like waste collection and social care.

Despite these challenges, the local authority has said it has made progress in reducing emissions through initiatives such as solar panel installations, LED streetlight conversions and integrating electric vehicles into the council’s fleet.

Shropshire Council has also partnered with Woodtek Ltd to develop a pyrolysis plant at Carbon Hill Farm in Powys.

This venture, slated to commence operations later this year, aims to convert waste into energy and produce biochar, contributing further to the council’s sustainability goals.

Ian Nellins, Shropshire Council’s deputy leader and Cabinet member for climate change, said: “We are proud to be one of the few councils in the country to report on our carbon emissions and to have set ourselves a challenging target of net zero by 2030.

“We recognise that we have a lot of work to do to achieve this, especially in the light of the 6% increase in our emissions in 2022-23.

“However, we are not disheartened by this, as we know that many of the factors that contributed to this increase were beyond our control and related to the unprecedented circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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