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Councils can do more towards energy efficiency, committee says

11 June 2012 No Comment

The Committee on Climate Change has been critical of UK councils’ spiralling carbon emissions, suggesting more can be done to improve the efficiencies of their buildings.

A bbc.co.uk report reveals that if councils neglect to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, which are also affected by increases in traffic and waste, then the UK’s national climate goals could be threatened.

Efficiencies through retrospective building cladding

Therefore it’s possible that investing in building efficiencies – such as retrospective building cladding or green energy burners – could play a part in reducing council emissions.

“Local authorities can have a very big impact in areas such as improving energy efficiency in buildings, sustainable travel and waste management,”

David Kennedy, the committee’s chief executive, told the BBC.

If all councils were to invest in all of these measures then the committee claims the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions would drop 15 million tonnes per year, a decrease of around three per cent.

Reducing the emissions of some 30,000 buildings

Councils like Bristol, for example, have already cut emissions by installing wind turbines, biomass boilers and solar panels. Home insulation schemes in the community have also been deployed; potentially reducing the emissions of some 30,000 buildings.

It is even proposed that statutory duties could be imposed on councils so that they must cut their energy use. However, guardian.co.uk writes that without adequate funding, it may be impossible for councils to put such plans in place.

Extra funding required for additional emissions reductions

Committee member Professor Julia King explained:

“Local authorities need to show leadership and recognise their wider role in supporting local emissions reductions, [but] the government needs to strengthen incentives for action by providing national funding where required.”

Author: Chris Taylor  Date Written: 11 June 2012

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