13 February 2018

Latest draft sees targets revised down and zero funding commitments

South Gloucestershire Green Party are calling for a revision of the Council’s draft Climate Change Strategy, released last month and open for public comment, pressing for greater scope and ambition to be worked into the plan.

Whilst neighbouring councils like Bristol make substantial commitments – pledging to run entirely on clean energy by 2050, and the EU nations including the UK committing to a target of 27% renewable energy generation by 2030, South Glos Council is revising some of its targets down, aiming for just 10% renewable energy generation by 2036.    

Commenting on the draft, spokesperson Jenny Vernon said, 

“As we’re coming to expect from the Council, this is a poor and unambitious strategy, sticking almost entirely to the very lowest of targets enforced by national government and even revising some down. There are a few statements that recognise the opportunity for South Glos to be a leader in reducing carbon emissions and developing the low carbon economy, but apart from promise to “draw up plans”, there is not a single pledge in the document that commits the Council to invest in or fund any initiatives that would deliver measurable results. 

With Climate Change recognised as one of the most pressing threats to our future, the UK government signed up to the Paris Agreement at COP21 in 2015, entrusting the worlds governments to reach net zero carbon emissions by the second half of this century. The draft in its current form however, commits South Glos to a lower target of 80% reduction by 2050. 

Mrs Vernon added, 

The draft openly admits that the Conservative government’s trashing of the renewables sector is responsible for South Glos failing to meet targets it set in 2013 for 2020. I’m disappointed that it fails to recognise the potential we have in the west of England to develop a rich base of renewables.  

In 2015, a report quantifying the gross potential for renewables in the West of England by the Resilience Centre and Molly Scott Cato MEP highlighted the massive potential to develop tidal lagoon energy along the Severn Estuary. It calculated that for the West of England region as a whole, a massive 79% of energy requirements could be met by locally generated renewables in the future.  

The draft Climate Change strategy is available on the Council website at http://bit.ly/2ESgd4x and is open for comment till 12th March.   

Members of the public are being urged to fill in the survey and to write to their local Councillor about the issue through the Write To Them website.

Notes: 

 [1] Bristol to run entirely on clean energy by 2050: https://www.energyservicebristol.co.uk/  

Contact:  

Press officer Tom Hathway – press@southglos.greenparty.org.uk / +44 (0) 7398 714795 

 

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