Reducing Carbon Emissions in Cheshire East - Steve Hogben

The IPCC (intergovernmental panel on climate change) is holding its 37th

right now, and concludes tomorrow. Latest reports suggest that climate change is almost certainly

the result of human action rather than some routine cosmic variation. It seems that the impacts

upon the planet may be dramatic and that this major challenge to the people of the world is even

greater than many want to believe.

While I freely acknowledge that the contribution this council can make to mitigate the effects of

global climate change may be limited, I firmly believe that the retail slogan “every little helps”

applies in tackling the problem. There is a broader agenda which this council needs to address as

one of a number of community leaders in the north west of England.

This council has undoubtedly made efforts to reduce its own carbon emissions, and to educate

young people in the process.

I could quote from the CEC Greenhouse Gas Report for 2012-2013, but time is limited. Suffice to say

that through our Carbon Management Programme, a number of projects and initiatives have

been developed and are on-going to achieve a reduction in carbon emissions from the Councils

activities.

Looking ahead, Cheshire East preparations for participation in the Carbon Reduction Commitment

from April 2013 included:

Piloting the new Eco Centres approach in some of our Community Buildings

Investigating the use of electric vehicles in our fleet, potentially as pool cars

Installation of superior telematics in the remainder of our fleet

Undertaking a driver fuel efficiency training programme pilot

Holding 3 green fairs for staff in September to raise awareness of carbon and sustainability issues

Review of our staff travel approach and project management

Green IT strategy

Sustainability E Learning modules on our intranet

Staff awards – category for sustainability

This notice of motion has two main objectives. First, the council must continue its efforts to cut its

own emissions, and more widely promote clean air quality. That requires funding as can be seen

from some of past initiatives.

But possibly it is more important for the Council – as a community leader - to secure serious

commitment from the wider Cheshire East community to carbon reduction. There are countless

other ways that the objective can be addressed. Here are just a few examples.

• Solar power systems

• Electric vehicles of all kinds including motor bikes

• Wind and water power generation – including geothermal energy

• Installation of wind turbines – Middlesbrough FC is building a turbine that will meet all the

power needs of their Riverside stadium for 20 years and save them £3.2M and 3000 tCO2.

• Promote the introduction of all-electric buses by transport operators

• Improve cycleway links to reduce car reliance and encourage cycling and walking

• Press the rail industry to introduce new generation fuel-efficient trains

• Press Network Rail to cut lighting levels – it has done this at Clapham Junction!

• Reduce air travel by backing high speed rail

• Encourage recycling to the maximum extent

• Design new towns and villages to maximise walking, cycling and use of public transport, and

redesign our older towns to achieve the same end

• Encourage allotments and provide council land for that purpose without bureaucratic delay

• Source food locally

• Replace under-used car parks with bike racks

And no doubt there are countless more examples that members can suggest.

All these are examples that are being actively pursued in parts of the UK and abroad. As a Council

we should be using our collective influence and press our many partners to try some innovative

approaches, and maybe even explore some of them ourselves as a council.

I believe it is crucial that we keep up levels of awareness of the need to reduce carbon emissions,

and make the transition to a low-carbon future. As politicians we should be anxious to campaign

for a better future, and in the end that is what this motion is all about. Madam Mayor, I move the

proposition.

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