The Climate Emergency is one of the most important topics of our time and one which we must address quickly.
We declared a climate emergency in Wrexham in September last year to target the decarbonisation of Council operations and promote the protection and enhancement of our natural environment.
To support this we’re now finalising a Decarbonisation Action Plan which will set out a clear programme of works to make us a “carbon positive” organisation. (We’ll be asking for your views on this very soon.)
The Covid pandemic has also highlighted the huge importance of our natural environment, and how critical it is that we work extremely hard to protect our landscapes, ecology and biodiversity.
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “Whilst we’ve already done a lot over the past ten years to reduce our carbon emissions it’s clear we have a lot more work to do.
“Help reduce the impact of Climate Change”
“We now need to focus on key areas where we can make a positive and sustainable difference which will further reduce our carbon emissions. This must be at the heart of any new developments and any investment in vehicles, goods and services we make in the coming months and years.
“We already have lots of plans and ideas and we all look forward to seeing these develop into projects, buildings and vehicles that will make a difference in the future to help reduce the impact of Climate Change.”
The Action Plan will set out four clear areas for us to focus on:
We’ve already done a lot in this area including installing solar panels (PV) in our schools, LED lighting upgrades, heating control measures and monitoring energy consumption across our buildings.
Next we plan to continue with the LED lighting upgrades, use heat pump technology for our larger buildings, continue PV installations, refurbishment of offices and schools using sustainable and innovative, low carbon methods and technologies.
Transport and Mobility
Our large fleet of vehicles is our biggest source of our carbon emissions and this hasn’t changed much for the last ten years. During recent years though we’ve been using more vehicles and started to invest in electric charging points for use on our vehicles. We’ve also installed charging points for public use in our car parks and resource centres.
We now need to look at further reductions by continuing to install charging points to include more areas across the county borough. And increase our own fleet of electric vehicles and look in particular at our larger vehicles such as bin lorries and the potential for electric or hydrogen vehicles in this area.
We’ve already developed our own solar farm and installed PV panels on our building roofs but we need to do more.
We’re now looking at new PV installations and look at the possibility more solar farms. We can also look to offset our carbon emissions by increasing the number of trees we plant.
Commissioning, Procurement and Contract Management
How we obtain our goods and services can play a huge role in reducing our emissions. We need to ensure our contractual conditions take this into account and put in place processes that contain an environmental award that will be taken into account when awarding contracts. These will also need transparent and strong management to make sure all the environmental benefits are achieved.
Cllr Bithell concluded: “At the end of this week we’ll be launching a consultation on the Action Plan and we really want to hear your views. What we do now is crucial to reducing our emissions but it also has to be achievable and sustainable. We have set out our ideas and plans in the consultation and we’ll be giving you plenty of time to take a look and respond.”
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