Breckland Council backs plan to go carbon neutral by 2035
A district council has set out its plans to fight climate change and go carbon neutral by 2035.
Breckland Council, which declared a climate emergency in September 2019, has set out a series of initiatives, which were passed at a meeting on Thursday.
The council was asked to release £525,000 to fund seven initiatives:
£200,000 to reduce council-owned buildings impact on the environment
£100,000 for a green grant scheme
£100,000 towards tree planting and rewilding schemes
£60,000 for electric vehicle charging points
£50,000 to explore renewable energy options
£10,000 for councillor and staff travel
£5,000 to promote renewable energy
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Swaffham councillor Ian Sherwood, cabinet member for climate strategy, said: “The public understand and we appreciate that there is a real change in the climate and we have got to do something about it.”
He said the council had already had people contacting them suggesting uses for the grant funding.
The proposal means Breckland is the second district council in Norfolk to declare a zero-carbon date, after Norwich set a 2030 target.
Mr Sherwood acknowledged reaching the target could be quicker through carbon offsetting – schemes that allow people to invest in environmental projects around the world to balance out their carbon footprint – but said they did not want to “buy” their way out.
He said: “Members of the council were very clear that we would try to avoid offsetting wherever we could.
“To me, that’s wasted money, if you’re going to pay guilt money I would rather that money go into a real product or a real change – something that would have a real benefit.”