7 Climate Change Update
7.1 In March 2019, the Council agreed a motion which declared a climate emergency
and made commitments to:
• Make the borough carbon neutral by 2030 taking account of production and
consumption emissions
• Seek powers and resources from Government to make 2030 target possible
• Work with other local and regional Governments (both within the UK and
internationally)
• Report back to borough council in six months on its own actions to address
the climate emergency.
7.2 Reducing our carbon emissions feeds into our Corporate Plan priorities of a Clean
and Safe Environment and Improving the Way We Work. Reduced energy use also
has a direct impact on our financial resources. Energy is an increasingly expensive
commodity and reducing energy use helps to minimise our costs now and mitigates
price increases in the future.
7.3 The Climate Change Act places legally binding targets for greenhouse gas emission
reductions through action in the UK and abroad of at least 80% by 2050, and
reductions in carbon emissions of at least 26% by 2020, against a 1990 baseline.
7.4 The Council is required to encourage energy efficiency and carbon reduction to
contribute to meeting the UK carbon reduction targets as set out in the Climate
Change Act 2008. The Council’s performance and progress in this regard are
reported annually through its Annual Energy and Carbon Report, the most recent of
which was considered by Cabinet at its last meeting on 5 November and
demonstrated that:
• Our carbon emissions have reduced by a further 16.7% measured against
2017-2018, and a total of 42% since 2014-15.
• The Council has already surpassed the initial target of a 25% reduction in
carbon emissions set out in 2014-2015.
• We have continued to reduce the energy the council consumes and as a
result, increasingly becoming more energy efficient.
• Our electricity supply is now being sourced from Teesside Wind Farm
• We have signed up to the UK100, committing to become a borough that is
carbon-free by shifting to 100% clean energy by 2030.
• We have signed up to the Governments’ Emissions Reduction Pledge 2020.
• Although we cannot sign up to the RE100 due to being a local authority, we
are fulfilling its requirement of sourcing our electricity from 100% renewables
from our current supplier.
7.5 Our reduction in energy usage has been achieved through an accumulation of
actions, some of which are highlighted below:
• Street lighting electricity usage has decreased by 804,362 kWh
• Reducing electricity consumption in our three main admin buildings (Redcar
& Cleveland House, Belmont House & Seafield House) by 138,057 kWh.
• Upgrading the lighting systems to LED at Saltburn Children’s Centre and
Marske Library.
• Installing loft insulation to Lockwood Primary School.
• Upgrading the BMS (Building Management System) at TunedIn and Saltburn
Childrens Centre.
• Upgrading our data centre equipment and cooling provision.
7.6 The sector which contributes the largest carbon emissions across the borough is
electrical consumption from Industry and Commercial businesses. This sector has
seen the largest reduction in carbon emissions, primarily due to the closure of SSI,
although carbon emissions across all three reporting sectors are continuing to
decrease.
7.7 Delivering against the ambitious target the Council has set itself of the borough
becoming carbon neutral by 2030 requires a multi-faceted approach from a variety
of teams across the Council.
7.8 The Council’s recently established Climate Change Task and Finish Group is
working to explore a number of opportunities which will make an impact in achieving
this target. It is envisaged that a new Environmental Strategy will be key to guiding
and developing targets in either reducing carbon emissions at source or by
implementing offsetting measures and will articulate our commitments more clearly
by bringing together the numerous strands of work under a single umbrella strategy.
Whilst the task and finish group will work closely with the team in developing the
strategy, it is keen to put measures in place now to begin making steps towards the
borough being carbon neutral by 2030. Considerations currently being discussed
include:
• Developing a strategy for planting trees across the borough based on an
objective of offsetting our carbon emissions which includes setting aside any
land which is currently not appropriate for re-development for wholescale
tree planting, and promoting tree planting on private and residential land and
gardens;
• Making improvements to public transport networks across the borough by
introducing electrically powered buses and development of rail networks to
electricity away from diesel powered, and working with partners to influence
wider regional transport strategies;
• Promoting cycling and walking to reduce the number of vehicles on the
roads, and;
• Working with planning rules and regulations to determine if new businesses
who wish to trade within the borough work to green strategies or operate a
carbon neutral model;
• Developing a supplementary planning document to reflect our climate
change commitments to support the Local Plan; and
• Seeking the views of local interest groups, residents and the wider
community and support them, wherever possible, in their local activity.
7.9 In addition to the above, in April 2019, the Council began purchasing electricity from
EDF Energy for all areas of the business. As part of this move to EDF Energy the
Council took the opportunity to source all electricity supplies from the Teesside Wind
Farm. This will create a further reduction in carbon emissions, which will be
captured in next year’s Green House Gases report demonstrating the Council’s
commitment to tackling climate change.