Council aims to cut pollution by 50 per cent

PUBLISHED: 16:09 01 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:20 01 February 2018

North Somerset Council wants to introduce a 50 per cent carbon emissions reduction target.

North Somerset Council wants to introduce a 50 per cent carbon emissions reduction target.

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Carbon dioxide emissions should be halved by 2035 says North Somerset Council.

Its executive will set a greenhouse gas reduction target next week to lessen its carbon footprint.

Deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees said: “Everyone has got to be responsible for the reduction in carbon emissions across the whole country, and the world in fact, and I think if we do our best hopefully that will encourage residents to do their contribution.

“We have got one or two hotspots with vehicle emission fumes which are an issue but we have all got to do what we can.”

Between 2005 and 2015 carbon emissions in North Somerset were reduced by 28.5 per cent, but the council is keen to do more.

A report to the executive says: “It is recognised local authorities have very little influence over some emissions, because of this emissions from motorways, international aviation and shipping are not included in local calculations.

“There are however many areas over which council action can have considerable influence and action on climate change and the transition to a low carbon economy is relevant to a range of services delivered by the council.”

Changes include improving greener transport so people are inclined to cycle, walk or catch a bus than they are to drive alone.

A reduction on household waste, more efficient street lights and reducing energy consumption at its offices also form part of the council’s strategy.

Tom Leimdorfer, the authority’s only Green Party councillor, said the target is ‘very welcome’.

But he added: “We have a motorway which passes through North Somerset which isn’t in the council’s remit but unfortunately council decisions have prioritised private car drivers over public transport and walking.

“Councillors have always looked at things from the point of view of car drivers and that needs to change.”

He said plans to create a Weston town centre bus interchange was a positive move, as is the council’s increased use of electric cars.

But he queried whether the target was ‘compatible’ with Bristol Airport’s expansion plans which would lead to more air travel with bigger plans and extra routes sought.

The council report said: “This is a challenging target and there will be many initiatives beyond the scope of authority’s control that will impact on this.”

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