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Cabinet Decision: 27th June 2016
Title of Item/Report
Annual Green House Gas Emissions Report
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that gave details on the Annual Green House Gas Emissions.

In the response to climate change, the Council had a long tradition, a strong track record and had demonstrated significant performance in both reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases (mitigation) and better preparing for extreme climatic events (adaptation). The Council were a Climate Local signatory and were now recognised nationally, and in 2015 the Council rose from 54th to 5th in the rankings of English and Welsh Local Authorities under the independent Local Authority Energy Index for its performance across a range of areas such as energy efficiency and emissions reductions.

Under the former National Indicator set introduced in 2008, local authorities’ performance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was measured via NI 185 - ‘Percentage CO2 (carbon dioxide) reduction from Local Authority operations’. Although the Council were no longer required to report under this indicator, in 2011 the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a framework for all Local Authorities to work together towards a shared vision on energy efficiency and carbon reduction. This included DECC requesting Local Authorities to follow the UK guidance on how to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions (which was aligned to international guidance on greenhouse gas reporting - the GHG Protocol), and to report their progress annually.

The annual report presented Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s performance for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Council activity in 2015/16, and the Council were required to submit this report to DECC for publishing by 31 July 2016. This year’s document was the first to report against the challenging annual targets that we set as a Council in May 2016 for emissions reductions over a five year period from 2015 - 2020. These targets were such that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council activity by 21% on 2014/2015 levels by March 2020.

The report to be submitted to DECC in July 2016 was provided which detailed the performance to reduce emissions across all council activity. This was split across seven key areas of activity from energy in buildings, to fleet management and street lighting, and the table of emissions was highlighted.

In 2015/16, the Council had performed extremely well on emissions reductions and had exceeded our challenging targets with notable headlines as follows:-

-In 2015/16 the Council emitted 24,391 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent - measure of all greenhouse gases), representing 0.298 tonnes of CO2e per household;

-The short term challenging target was to reduce the Councils greenhouse gas emissions by 5% on 2014/15 levels by March 2016, but it had far exceeded this with a net 7.8% reduction in the last 12 months, representing a reduction of 2068 tonnes of CO2e per annum;

-Overall scope 1 emissions (stationary or mobile emissions from sources that were owned or controlled directly by the Council) had fallen by 39% since 2012/13;

-This was the first year since our baseline was set in 2009 that all seven areas of emissions activity had shown a decrease in a 12 month period.

During 2015/16, the reduction in emissions from scope 1, 2 and 3 activities represented combined financial savings / cost of avoidance of £250,595. One particular example of success was the ongoing implementation of the street lighting LED replacement programme which had realised savings of just over 1.3m kWh, representing a saving of £144k in the last 12 months alone.

In 2015/16 the Council generated 236.8 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy from our 31 individual renewable energy installations which was all used in situ, and was our highest generating year to date. This represented the annual consumption of approximately 60 average households but perhaps more significantly currently saved in excess of £30k per annum through not having to purchase that electricity. Our generating capacity had increased significantly over recent years, from just 8MWh in 2011/12.

It must be recognised that individuals, teams and services right across the Council were contributing to this success, and in addition our partners such as Tees Active were prioritising carbon reduction and working hard to drive down consumption and emissions across all its leisure facilities. It was hoped we would see further improvements over the coming months and years, and our adopted Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan sets out collective measures to continue to improve performance over the next 4 years.

RESOLVED that:-

1.The positive performance in reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases from Council activity in 2015/16, and associated financial savings be noted.

2.The continued efforts to reduce our emissions via a range of activities be supported.
Reasons for the Decision
We have a growing national recognition for our work on climate change and fuel poverty, particularly around energy efficiency and carbon reduction from Council activity, and the positive impact the Councils work on delivering affordable warmth schemes was having on residents and communities. This report documents another 12 months of positive performance on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (a contributor to climate change) and subsequently financial savings to the Council, and as such was an item of interest for Members.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
None
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight, 5th July 2016
Attachment

Date of Publication: 29 June 2016


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