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Colchester Borough Council to help shape Government plans to reduce carbon emissions

Date issued: 7 December 2017

Colchester Borough Council is to participate in a consultation exercise to influence Government proposals to cut carbon emissions and reduce energy bills. The policy to deliver an ambitious de-carbonisation programme across the Public and Higher Education sectors in England over the next 10 years, will also see the introduction of a local voluntary emissions target to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2020, against a 2009/10 baseline.

To achieve this carbon reduction, the Government has proposed £255 million of funding for energy efficiency improvements and support for public bodies to access additional sources of funding.

Colchester Borough Council set a target, in its Environmental Sustainability Strategy, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from baseline-year 2008. The Council exceeded that target in 2016/17 through the implementation of its Local Authority Carbon Management Plan - achieving a 55 percent reduction in emissions.

The Council assessed the viability of its carbon reduction projects, by calculating the years it would take to pay back. All viable projects were completed - generating expected annual savings of £100k on future energy bills and saving 400 tonnes of carbon per annum.

Councillor Jessica Scott-Boutell, Portfolio Holder for Sustainability & Waste, said: "Colchester is a leading carbon-cutting council, so is ideally placed to be able to advise the government on what the voluntary target should be and what a supporting framework for reporting greenhouse gas emissions should look like.

"We will also be suggesting other future options that would help to reduce emissions in the Public, Further and Higher Education sectors, in line with the fifth carbon budget and supporting wider positive effects across the economy."