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Harlow Council targets net zero carbon emissions by 2040

03 Sep Harlow Council targets net zero carbon emissions by 2040

For the first time ever Harlow Council is set to agree a target date and actions for hitting Net Zero carbon emissions* as it steps up its efforts to tackle global climate change.

The target to hit Net Zero by 2040 is being recommended in a report which will be considered at the Cabinet meeting on 9 September 2021. The council’s target is 10 years before the UK’s commitment of reaching a position of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The report also recommends the approval of the Carbon Reduction Plan, which sets a new target to reduce carbon emissions by 15.7% by 2026 which is a 50% reduction on the council’s 2014/15 level. The plan will deliver further carbon savings from the council’s operations in the period 2021-26. Importantly the plan will also begin the critically work required to prepare to meet Net Zero by 2040 and sets out the actions the council will take.

The plan will be presented by Councillor Alastair Gunn, the portfolio holder for environment. Councillor Gunn, said: “While there has been good progress in the last ten years by the council to reduce its carbon emissions, there is still a significant amount of work left, with the most complex and costly decisions yet to be taken.

“Tackling climate change is this century’s single most pressing challenge. How that challenge is met will define the world in which we all live and will impact the lives of people for generations to come. This matters to Harlow and addressing the Council’s own carbon emissions is critical to safeguarding the local environment, and ensuring Harlow is a town fit for the future”

“Harlow Council has an opportunity and obligation to demonstrate civic leadership in embracing that challenge by charting a course to Net Zero carbon emissions. Getting it right is critical to making Harlow an even greater engine for opportunity and prosperity in the East of England.”

At the Cabinet meeting Councillor Gunn will set out the actions the council will take to deliver Net Zero by 2040:

– Council will only buy electric cars from 2022/23
– No new gas boilers in council operational buildings from 2025/26
– HTS to commit to Net Zero by 2040 too
– Next waste contract to include commitment to reach Net Zero by the end of it

*net zero refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere.