Council Targets and Commitments

The 2008 Climate Change Act established the world’s first legally binding climate change target. It aims to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 baseline) by 2050. The Council is required by law to help meet this target. Everyone in the UK needs to take a fair share of action to reduce emissions.

For most people, 2050 seems a long way off. In order to ensure that the District is aligned to this long term requirement, the Council has approved shorter term targets which provide both a goal for immediate action and a measure of progress towards the statutory 80%.
The Winchester District Low Carbon Board proposed that the Council might look to a Climate and Energy Package agreed by European Union (EU) leaders in March 2009, following a commitment in 2007 to make Europe a highly energy-efficient, low carbon economy.

This included a series of targets known as the "20-20-20" targets, which set three key objectives for 2020:
• a 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels;
• raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20%;
• a 20% improvement in the EU's energy efficiency.

In order to meet the European target of a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, the District needs to reduce its emissions from around one million tonnes a year to 720,000 tonnes a year. This is approximately 25,000 tonnes of CO2e a year from 2016 to 2020. It will mean that the District is doing its ‘fair share’ towards the 80% target. Because the Council is not responsible for all the emissions which need to be cut and generates only a small proportion of the total for the District, it has set itself a target of a 20% cut in its own emissions from 2016 to the end of 2020.

The District will need to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels in order to reach its targets. In 2013, only 2% of energy was produced from renewable sources which is a long way from the 20-20-20 target. The Council has formally acknowledged the need to increase the amount of energy produced from renewable sources, although a figure of 15% by the end of 2020 is consider the maximum realistically possible from the current base.