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Council agrees refreshed plans for reaching net zero

Winchester City Council (WCC) has reaffirmed its commitment to its carbon neutrality targets with a new action plan.

At a cabinet meeting on Wednesday (13 September) a new Carbon Neutrality Action Plan (CNAP) was agreed, supporting the leading and active work of WCC towards its goals of being a carbon neutral organisation by 2024 and a carbon neutral district by 2030.

This CNAP outlines the work of the council and its role in supporting, working in partnership and championing changes needed across the district to reduce carbon emissions.

Earlier this year, the council published its carbon neutrality roadmap setting out how the council, alongside its partners, organisations and local businesses, could work towards reaching carbon neutrality, including the nature and scale of interventions needed. The roadmap recognised that alongside the council’s efforts, contributions would be needed from the district’s businesses, institutions and residents.  

The new CNAP, informed by the roadmap, highlights four key ways of working - delivery, collaboration, enabling and influence - and prioritises pathways to carbon reduction including: transport; renewable energy generation; nature-based solutions for capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide (such as tree planting); and supporting the creation of local carbon credits.

It details the measures which are likely to have the most impact including: energy saving in 800 homes; funding schemes for residents’ energy saving; continued installation of EV charging points and PV solar panels; exploration of large scale renewable energy generation; decarbonising council fleet vehicles including Park & Ride; and improving cycling and walking opportunities across the district. The plan also highlights work with partners for areas outside the council’s remit.

Cllr Kelsie Learney Cabinet Member for the Climate Emergency said: ‘We have made good strides putting in place measures that will reduce the carbon footprint of the district to date. Our refreshed action plan refocuses these efforts to help ensure we reach our target.

"We have to increase the scale of actions and pace of delivery, becoming greener faster and showing leadership – not only in our own council buildings and operations, but by working with partners, and supporting others in their efforts to be carbon neutral. Through this plan we will not only be making our contribution to reducing climate change but creating a greener, cleaner district for our children and grandchildren.”  

The council is holding an online open forum event on 25 September where more information will be shared. Find out more and book your place

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