Plan revealed to cut district’s carbon emissions

A new plan to cut carbon emissions across the district has been unveiled by Malvern Hills District Council.

The Destination Zero plan sets an overall vision for the district to become carbon neutral as quickly as possible, but by 2050 at the latest, and with a minimum 50% reduction by 2030.

It also commits the council to making its own operations carbon neutral – where the amount of carbon produced is offset by other measures – by 2030.

The plan is the council's response to the climate emergency it declared in July last year. Members of the council's Environment Policy Development Panel produced the report following six months of research and consultation with other organisations and the public to generate ideas to reduce the district's carbon footprint.

More than 190 suggestions were put forward and these were then refined to create the current plan which contains more than 50 actions.

They include working with partners to identify land to plant more than 200,000 trees and other carbon capture habitats, the creation of a biofuel or low carbon oil buying club for homes not on the gas grid, increasing the number of EV charging points in our car parks and working with Transition Malvern Hills to expand their electric bike loan scheme.

Cutting the amount of waste, particularly food waste, generated by the district's households is also seen as key, along with supporting businesses to become more energy efficient through free audits and grant funding. Homeowners will also be encouraged to take advantage of funding available to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

Developers will be required to demonstrate that their plans include measures to adapt to the impact of climate change and there will also be a call-out for sites to identify land suitable for renewable energy generation.

Efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the council's own operations will focus on switching the council's waste and recycling collection fleet to ultra low emission vehicles by 2029 and improving energy efficiency in council-owned buildings such as Malvern Splash and Malvern Theatres.

Cllr John Raine, Portfolio Holder for Environment on Malvern Hills District Council, said: "The Destination Zero report represents a great start to our journey to lead Malvern Hills District to becoming carbon neutral as quickly as possible.

"Much will change over the next few years both with regard to policyfrom the Government and new greener technologies, so we will keep our plan under constant review and take advantage of every opportunity to deliver our ambition at the earliest possible opportunity.

"We recognise and applaud the fact that very many organisations across the district are already 'doing their bit' to respond tothe climate emergency and we will be creating a partner engagement group to try and co-ordinate the various responses so that we can support and learn from each other."

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