A new Low Carbon Strategy has been adopted by Selby District Council, setting out the steps it will take to achieve carbon neutrality.
For the first time, the strategy sets out the organisation’s ambition to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050, but with an aspiration to achieve this by 2030. This work is set against the backdrop of local government reorganisation in North Yorkshire which will see a new unitary authority in the district from April 2023.
Selby District Council’s Director of Economic Regeneration and Place, Dave Caulfield commented: “This strategy is twofold – it sets out our own low carbon ambitions for the next 12 months but also allows us to show leadership by addressing the impacts of climate change.
“As a council we need to help our businesses and residents work towards becoming carbon neutral and we’re starting this by looking at our own impact on the environment.”
Detailed work has taken place to assess the Council’s own carbon footprint with the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE) commissioned to calculate this figure. The council’s total estimated carbon footprint for 2018-2019 is 2,592 tonnes and is broken down into gas, vehicles, water, waste, travel, electricity and heat. The Council will offset its emissions from 2018 to 2023 through an offsetting scheme.
Dave Caulfield added: “Changes to recycling collections in 2020 have already seen us achieve a 2% increase by tonnage in recycling and our new Local Plan has put sustainable development at its heart, with a focus on mitigating and adapting to climate change.
“Given the changes to local government taking place it is only right that we’ve worked closely with local authorities across North Yorkshire to align with their strategies to ensure this important work continues beyond the end of Selby District Council in April 2023. We’re continuing to take this work forward because addressing climate change is not something we can do alone – it needs a much wider, long-term response.”
The strategy has identified six workstreams to help the council become carbon neutral – carbon monitoring, travel, council buildings and energy use, working practices, natural environment and biodiversity and influencing others.
The council works with the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership to support their carbon neutral and circular economy work and is a member of the White Rose Forest Partnership, which is working to encourage tree planting across the North and East Yorkshire region. The Council is also piloting air-source heat pumps in council properties and making energy efficiency improvements to council housing including improved insulation, windows and doors. The council is also working to improve the electric vehicle charging infrastructure by adding new charging points in council car parks.
Take a look at the strategy here: www.selby.gov.uk/what-were-doing