40% emissions cut as council goes greener

Published on: Friday, 23rd February 2024
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Erewash Borough Council has slashed its greenhouse gas emissions by almost 40 per cent, an update to the elected members has revealed.

The huge strides towards the authority’s net zero target are revealed in a report by its Director of Environmental and Community Services.

The borough council declared a climate and ecological emergency in October – as floods hit hundreds of local homes. A cross-party climate change action working group was launched.

Leader James Dawson said he was “encouraged” by the new report showing progress the authority is making on CO2.

Overall emissions have plummeted by 39 per cent in five years. But Cllr Dawson stressed: “We have a long way to go.”

All the council’s electricity now comes from renewable sources – and emissions due to gas usage are down by 78 per cent. The leisure facilities that the council oversees in partnership with Parkwood Leisure have seen a 39 per cent fall in emissions.

The authority is currently looking at ways to continue making its leisure centres at Long Eaton’s West Park and Ilkeston’s Victoria Park more energy efficient.

Meanwhile, through the borough council, eligible households across the borough are receiving energy efficiency upgrades to their homes. These are fully funded by the government – and almost 100 households have benefitted so far.

The new report – prepared ahead of a Council Executive meeting on Tuesday 27 February – also outlines other green initiatives, including plans to plant 2,250 trees and consider 43 sites for rewilding.

The council has 12 local nature reserves covering 107 hectares – equivalent to 150 football pitches. Work is due to start this year on transforming Ilkeston’s defunct Pewit golf course into a wildlife haven.

The authority’s progress in reducing emissions was welcomed by Councillor Joel Bryan, who is Erewash’s Lead Member for Environment. In a message accompanying the new report, he said: "The impact of human activity on climate is undeniable. Erewash, like many parts of the UK, has in the past few years experienced record-breaking summer temperatures, storms and severe flooding which have placed significant pressure on communities and natural habitats.

“The persistent rainfall that accompanied Storm Babet in October last year caused widespread flooding which affected an estimated 500 properties across Erewash. Adapting to a changing climate will be a key feature of the council’s long term climate change response.”

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