Climate Emergency - What we are doing now

The Liberal Democrat cabinet declared a climate emergency in June 2019. Winchester City Council is now committed to becoming a carbon neutral council by 2024, and the cabinet has ambition for the wider district to become carbon neutral by 2030. We will be updating these pages with information on progress and projects.

Over the past decade, the council’s own carbon emissions have reduced by 23.6%, from 5,476 tonnes of CO2 in 2010 to 4,186.84 tonnes of CO2 in 2018. To tackle our current emissions, Winchester City Council is developing a robust plan to decarbonise its operations. However, the greater challenge will be to decarbonise the Winchester district.

In 2017, the Winchester district emitted an estimated 834,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, a figure which includes the emissions generated from the M3 Motorway. This figure, although representing a 25.8% decrease from the 2005 Winchester district emission reading of 1,124,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, will be a huge challenge over the coming decade.

Given the importance of keeping the global temperature increase below +1.5 degrees Celsius, as recognised by the Climate Emergency Declaration and reported by the IPCC report of 2018, Winchester City Council is acting now to engage with local and national partners to tackle the Climate Emergency.

The Carbon Neutrality Action Plan aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the council and the wider district by focussing on eight priority areas:

  • Transport
  • Property/Housing
  • Energy
  • Mitigation/Offsetting
  • Biodiversity
  • Recycling and Waste
  • Planning and Development
  • Commerce and Economy

These eight priority areas will take into account both direct production and indirect consumption of emissions, as defined by the World Resources Insititute Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG).

Direct emissions are produced by sources which are owned or controlled by the council and include electricity use, burning oil or gas for heating, and fuel consumption as a result of business travel or distribution.

Indirect emissions result from the council's upstream and downstream activities. These are typicallly from outsourced/contract manufacturing, and products and services offered by the council.

To measure our progress to become carbon neutral, the council will calculate its gross emissions and apply emission reductions to produce a net CO2e tonne figure.