Council reports 'promising progress' on carbon neutral agenda

Cheshire East Council has reported 'positive progress' with its ambition to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2025, and in influencing residents and businesses across the borough to take action to reduce their emissions.

At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 4th May, members were presented with a report detailing progress to date against the carbon neutral action plan – which was agreed in May 2019.

In the past twelve months, Cheshire East has:

● Planted around 15,000 trees across the borough, working in partnership with The Mersey Forest through the Trees for Climate programme, along with support from Cheshire Wildlife Trust. This included the involvement of children with tree-planting on school sites and planting to complement new infrastructure projects such as the Congleton Link Road;

● Progressed development of the North West's first green hydrogen refuelling station, to pilot, initially, the use of two bin trucks powered with hydrogen;

● Bought green energy from an accredited electricity supplier;

● Secured funding from central government totalling almost £2.5 million, which will be used to install solar panels and improve the energy efficiency of council buildings, leisure centres and depots all over the borough; and

● Increased the use of electric vehicles across services.

Whilst the council says it has made a good start, there is still a lot work to be done, and it has other projects in the development stage to make a significant impact on their target to reduce carbon emissions.

Councillor Nick Mannion, retiring cabinet member for environment and regeneration and chair of the new economy and growth committee, said: "Our new corporate plan sets out our vision to be an open, fair and green council, and we are committed to taking action to combat climate change.

"The government has set a target that requires the UK to be net zero by 2050. We want to take action sooner because every tonne of carbon saved will reduce the impact of climate change on our communities and businesses, protecting the future of our borough. That is why we are striving for an even more challenging target of becoming carbon neutral in our operations by 2025.

"As well as the projects detailed in the cabinet report, we are also putting processes in place across the organisation to ensure that carbon emissions are understood by all. This includes empowering our staff, through training and other engagement activities, to think about and reduce their emissions, and ensuring that carbon considerations are included as part of the business planning and procurement process."

Councillor Mick Warren, retiring cabinet member for communities and chair of the new environment and communities committee, said: "It's pleasing to see that over the last year, real benefits have been achieved while laying the groundwork for continued carbon reduction.

"We recognise that our actions alone are not enough to have the impact on the climate emergency that is needed over the next few years. That is why we are working with town and parish councils, schools and other local groups across the borough to support them to both understand their carbon emissions, and why it's so important to take steps to reduce them."

The council is not just focused on its own emissions, but continues to tackle the climate emergency through carbon reduction across the borough, including through planning and transport strategies, improving energy efficiency in buildings, and helping businesses and individuals to save energy and save money.

Click here to view the cabinet report.



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Anthony Evans
Saturday 8th May 2021 at 1:03 pm
What a pity CEC allowed thousands of tonnes of peat to be removed from Lindow Moss last year. Did the council really believe Croghan Peat when they said it was not suitable for restoration purposes? It all finished up in Croghans yard at Meare, Somerset.
Not a good start for carbon neutral.
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 1:53 pm
Well, Councillor Nick, seeing as you have such an understanding of carbon and the atmosphere (maybe like the American clown Kerry who wants "to eliminate CO" from the atmosphere") you could perhaps explain, or better still produce the peer reviewed paper(s) confirming the heating effects of CO2 and it's connection to "climate change".
I wish you shower could spend my hard earned cash more wisely.
David Smith
Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 3:05 pm
A quick comment upon first read.
Not sure what you are trying to say/insinuate/complain about - but if the gist of your comment is you aren't convinced that CO2 has anything to do with the warming of the atmosphere and hence the perceived and believed climate change taking place, would you care to reply with your explanation as to why global warming isn't caused by our CO2 production? Then some of us might be able to agree with you.
Simon Worthington
Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 4:14 pm
David. CO2 is not responsible that is why there is NO peer reviewed paper to "prove" it is.
CO2 consists of 0.04% of the atmosphere. 400 parts per million. At less than 250ppm plants don't grow (hence my comment about John Kerry, do give him a read!) and the slight increase in CO2 has increased global greening by around 10% over the last 20 years or so. Poly tunnel fruit and veg growers often pump air with 1000ppm CO2 to increase growth rates. When the dinosuars roamed it is estimated that the CO2 level could have been as high as 3000ppm. The earth has also had an ice age at similar levels.
However for those convinced by the media and their pals just waiting to pick the taxpayers pocket then consider that the 15 countries burning down rain forest contribute some 15-20% of MAN MADE CO2, which is 3% of the CO2 produced by nature.
Just like the sea level myth. Last time I looked the Maldives, glaciers and the Antarctic ice were still there and the disappearing Polar Bears seem to have multiplied not become extinct. NOt one prediction has come true and I am old enough to remember the scares about the oncoming ice age when I was a kid!!!!
Very happy to debate this and the covid scam with anyone along with pollution which is a different story!!!
David Smith
Wednesday 12th May 2021 at 9:52 pm
Thanks Simon. Your hat is now very publicly 'in the ring' and I am sure there are a few experts who can substantiate your belief or shoot you down PDQ. I will wait and see but might suggest you check your parachute had a service recently and is certified to be in good working condition!
Simon Worthington
Thursday 13th May 2021 at 6:54 am
Which bit don't you believe?
CO2 levels in the atmosphere? Check it. At less than 250ppm we are gone and John Kerry wants to eliminate it from the atmosphere!
Effect of CO2 on plant growth? Check it.
Man made CO2 is 3% of the total CO2 released? Of course greenery recycles CO2. Year 9 stuff.
I have not denied that the atmosphere may be warming as it has done many times over the millenia but the idea that man is TOTALLY responsible is not proven unless you can find the bloke who keeps setting off volcanos!
Fiddled data. Check East Anglia "University". Caught red handed.
Greta? Oh dear. Check who is right behind her with their greedy hands out!
Explain why, 12,000 years ago or so, why the northern ice sheets retreated several hundred miles north over a period of 1000 years or so. Neandethals decendants (they had gone) burning a few sticks?
Check the data about the River Thames and the 200 year period it froze over. Stopping around 1815.

"We are told sea level is rising and will soon swamp all of our cities. Everybody knows that the Pacific island of Tuvalu is sinking. ...

Around 1990 it became obvious the local tide-gauge did not agree - there was no evidence of 'sinking.' So scientists at Flinders University, Adelaide, set up new, modern, tide-gauges in 12 Pacific islands.

Recently, the whole project was abandoned as there was no sign of a change in sea level at any of the 12 islands for the past 16 years." Vincent Gray).
Peter Davenport
Thursday 13th May 2021 at 3:07 pm
Just a thought. If CE says it is pursuing a green agenda, could someone please tell me, how moving all the bin wagons to Middlewich, when they go up and down the A34 each with full loads is green, and also all the employees for the vehicles are bussed to Middlewich from Macclesfield, and probably elsewhere,and back on top of the extra journeys of the bin wagons in CE can help to reduce pollution? An aside to this, do the employees in this operation pay income tax on a benefit in kind, for free? transport to work.? and elsewhere.
Peter Davenport