'Changing behaviour' and 'managing transport' key to Wakefield Council's carbon neutral goal

Managing transport has been highlighted as one of Wakefield Council's key priorities, as it aims to become a carbon neutral organisation.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 5:28 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd December 2019, 5:28 pm
The council declared a climate emergency earlier this year.

The council, like many other local authorities across the UK, has pledged to reduce emissions to a net total of zero by 2030.

A draft report going before Wakefield's environmental scrutiny committee next week says that the target is "extremely ambitious" and that changing the behaviour of councillors and staff will be crucial to achieving it.

Officers say that the way the council manages its own fleet of vehicles, and activity within its own buildings

The report says: "The council is starting from a good position but the scale of the challenge ahead should not be underestimated.

"The 2030 target is extremely ambitious and requires a cultural change across the whole organisation.

"There needs to be leadership and ownership throughout the organisation, from all services and at all levels.

"Adequate resources need to be allocated to delivery of the action plan, once developed.

Can the effects of climate change be limited?

"It is impossible to eradicate all carbon emissions and some carbon offsetting will be required.

"The priorities for the council should be transport/fleet management, property and changing staff/member behaviour."

Last month, the council's transport portfolio holder Matthew Morley said that the authority would look to eventually convert all its vehicles to electric.

Plans for two solar energy farms - one in Ossett and one in South Kirkby - have also been outlined.

Rising sea levels and heavy rainfall have contributed to flooding across the world.

Council officer Kevin Fisher said in October that the authority could potentially wipe out its carbon footprint within 18 months "in a utopian world", if the farms are built.

Without them, however, he warned that the council would struggle to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Local Democracy Reporting Service