Report sets out ‘budgets’ for West Norfolk CO2
A new report has set out climate change targets for West Norfolk, including budgets for carbon dioxide emissions.
The report – ‘setting climate commitments for King’s Lynn and West Norfolk’ – has been published by researchers from the University of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.
It says the targets for West Norfolk are derived from the commitments enshrined in the United Nations Paris Agreement.
The report says, based on their analysis, three recommendations should be adopted for West Norfolk to make its ‘fair’ contribution towards the Paris Agreement.
The first is to stay within a maximum cumulative carbon dioxide emissions budget of eight million tonnes for the period of 2020 to 2100.
It adds that West Norfolk “would use this entire budget” within seven years from 2020, if the CO2 emission levels were the same as in 2017.
The second is to “initiate an immediate programme of CO2 mitigation to deliver cuts in emissions”, averaging a minimum of -13.6 per cent per year to deliver a Paris-aligned carbon budget.
“These annual reductions in emissions require national and local action, and could be part of a wider collaboration with other local authorities,” the report adds.
The third recommendation is for West Norfolk to reach “zero or near zero carbon no later than 2041”.
“This report provides an indicative CO2 reduction pathway that stays within the recommended maximum carbon budget of eight million tonnes,” it adds.
“At 2041 five per cent of the budget remains. This represents very low levels of residual CO2 emissions by this time, or the authority may opt to forgo these residual emissions and cut emissions to zero at this point.
“Earlier years for reaching zero CO2 emissions are also within the recommended budget, provided that interim budgets with lower cumulative CO2 emissions are also adopted.”
The report adds that, to stay within the recommended carbon budget, this will require that West Norfolk “rapidly transitions away from unabated fossil fuel use”.
It comes ahead of a West Norfolk Council meeting next week when councillors will decide whether or not to declare a climate emergency.
The motion, which was proposed by Michael de Whalley, urges members to make the declaration and back a programme of action to reduce emissions.