Carbon cutting milestone for Leeds

Have your say

Leeds is half way to meeting its targets for cutting carbon - according to a new report.

Having set a target of cutting emissions by 40 per cent by 2020, the report to senior councillors shows the successes to date in reducing emissions from Leeds Council’s activities and by others across the city.

Between 2008 and 2014 the local authority has reduced carbon emissions by 20 per cent and city wide, emissions had reduced by 16 per cent by 2013.

Measures to date include: installing solar panels on council buildings and 1,000 council homes; part-time switching off of 3,489 street lights at night and updating lights to LEDs in some areas; and establishing an energy company to offer residents competitive rates.

The council is looking at other measures such as building a compressed natural gas station and installing charging points for electric vehicles.

Members of its executive board will be asked to adopt a new council-wide energy policy to help manage energy use in buildings more consistently when they meet on Wednesday. They are also being asked to endorse an action plan supporting the council’s participation in the European Covenant of Mayors, a group of local authorities who have signed up to meet or exceed the European Union objective of cutting carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds Council’s executive member for environmental protection and community safety, said: “Getting our own house in order and helping others cut carbon emissions actually impacts people’s lives; saving money, improving homes and health and tackling fuel poverty.

“Clearly we still have a way to go. Despite the challenges we remain ambitious and if approved, our new energy policy and action plan will give us a clear path to make further improvements in areas that are more difficult to achieve.”