Renfrewshire Council has reiterated its green credentials as it outlines climate change as an immediate priority, with its Climate Emergency Working Group set to meet tomorrow (Thursday).
In June 2019, there was cross-party support for a council motion which declared a climate emergency and a working group has been set up with members of all political parties, who will make recommendations on how to make Renfrewshire carbon neutral by 2030.
The area has a strong base to work from as since 2012/13, Renfrewshire has reduced its carbon emissions by 55.7%, far exceeding its 36% target, and it has been carrying out numerous projects to make the area greener.
A new recycling system has seen the area’s recycling rate increase every quarter throughout 2019, with the latest figures showing 55.42% of waste was recycled between July and September 2019, and this is further supported by the commencement of the Clyde Valley Residual Waste Project which now sees at least 90% of non-recyclable waste turned into energy rather than going to landfill.
A transformation of the street lighting in Renfrewshire has reduced energy and carbon consumption by 64%, contributing an 8% reduction in the council’s overall emissions, while there will shortly be 100 electric vehicles in the council’s fleet as part of a commitment to replace any vehicles with electric versions wherever possible.
Since 2013, the council has secured more than £15million in funding for improvements in home energy efficiency. More than 6000 homes have benefited so far and carbon emissions have reduced by 108,000 tonnes – the equivalent of removing 21,000 cars from the roads.
Recently, the council was awarded £1.8million by the UK Government to turn 75 properties into low energy or EnerPHit homes, which are low energy buildings that require very little energy to heat or cool and could see annual energy bills reduced to £150 for residents.
The council also takes a positive and ambitious approach to biodiversity conservation and promotion and its 2018-2022 Action Plan is working to protect and enhance natural habitats in Renfrewshire as part of its climate change actions.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “As a council, we are striving to reduce our emissions wherever possible as we recognise the immediate threat that climate change poses to our environment.
“We are making great progress in reducing our carbon output, far exceeding our target of 36% by March 2020, and we have undertaken numerous successful projects which are making a real difference to our local environment.
“However, we know we can do more, and this working group will endeavour to identify all areas where we can make a difference – be it immediately or when setting out how to undertake future projects.
“We recognise that the council needs to lead from the front in Renfrewshire and we’re committed to being the driving force that inspires our businesses and residents to follow suit.”
The group next meet on Thursday 23 January and will set out their goals and aspirations for the year ahead.