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West Norfolk carbon emissions reduction outlined as Climate Concern meeting set to be held in King's Lynn

Carbon emissions have been reduced by 25 per cent since 2015 within the borough according to new council findings.

West Norfolk Council completed a carbon audit in January which highlights how overall carbon dioxide emissions decreased from 6,183.4 tonnes in 2014/15 to 4,632.4 tonnes in 2018/19.

The figures, released by the council’s Environment and Community Panel, are announced as a draft climate change policy is being developed by the authority.

West Norfolk Council office on Chapel Street in King's Lynn
West Norfolk Council office on Chapel Street in King's Lynn

This policy is expected to be completed by the summer, before the council starts working on a strategy and action plan for early 2021.

Current emission reduction strategies include installing solar panels on some council-owned properties such as King’s Court.

According to the council, these panels generated 35,815 kWh of clean electricity in 2018/2019.

A Re:fit programme initiative, in which a contractual agreement is made, is expected to improve energy efficiency and provide roughly 450 tonnes of CO₂ reductions per year.

The initiative was initially developed by the Greater London Authority in 2009 and is targeted at local authorities, schools, universities, hospitals, leisure centres and museums.

West Norfolk Council has also committed to the Big Plant tree programme in which 500 trees were planted at King’s Reach, while the mayor’s car is now a hybrid petrol/electric.

Ahead of an Environment and Community Panel meeting on Tuesday, the document adds: “We will be using a green tariff for electricity for the 2020/2021 financial year.

“This will reduce our scope 2 emissions to zero tonnes CO₂e, which equates to an approximate reduction of 31 per cent.”

Meanwhile, a workshop will explore climate change and land use with 35 participants being invited to the event in Lynn next week.

The King’s Lynn Klimate Concern group are hosting the first of several mini-conferences at the Friends Meeting House in Bridge Street from 10.30am to 4pm on Monday (March 2).

As part of the workshop, farming and the closely-linked area of food and its economics will be discussed as well as tree planting and ecological restoration, otherwise known as ‘Rewilding’.

The intention of the workshop is “to inspire participants to embed solutions that address the climate crisis into their work and policy-making.”

It is primarily targeted at community leaders for them to implement day-to-day.

George Gawlinski, one of the organisers, said: “We are really keen to change the narrative on climate change from fear to positive action, from being scared to seeing what is possible.”

The 35 invited participants include West Norfolk mayor Geoff Hipperson, who is a farmer, Estelle Hook from the Norfolk Coastal Partnership, Nick Padwick from Ken Hill Estate, Ben Keeley from Barsby Produce and Lucy Faulkner-Gawlinski.

Places are limited and attendance is by invitation. Contact Lucy Faulkner-Gawlinski on 01553 671620 or lucy.faulkner@btinternet.com to confirm your place.

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