Stafford Borough Council's array of solar panels at Riverway Nursery is a significant step toward reducing their carbon emissions. The 'Zero Carbon Britain' report argues for 100% renewable energy generation.
It is possible for Britain to cut its net carbon emissions to zero by 2030, according to the latest version of the 'Zero Carbon Britain' report. But this requires a radical rethink of our attitudes to diet, energy and land use. This was the message from members of Sustainability Matters when they presented a copy of the report to Stafford Borough Council at the Civic Centre on 13 May 2014.
'Benefits to health, wellbeing and happiness'
The report was given to the mayor, Councillor Ray Sutherland, by Geof White of Sustainability Matters, who summed up his own responses to the book. "This 4th report outlines where Britain could be if we rise to the challenge. We can meet the scale and speed of decarbonisation required, with positive effects on society, the environment, and the economy. Britain can be a zero carbon society and gain benefits to our health, wellbeing and happiness."
Responding for the Council, His Worshipful the Mayor thanked Geof and members of the group, acknowledged the value of the report, and promised that the Council would take note of its recommendations in formulating Council policies.
Head of Policy and Improvement, Norman Jones, pointed to the positive steps taken by the Council in recent years to cut its own carbon emissions. These included installing arrays of solar panels on the roof of the Civic Centre and at Riverway Plant Nursery, which are estimated to save over 50 tonnes of carbon per year. Another move was to reconfigure the waste collection rounds, cutting 10% of the fuel used by the bin lorries.
Key recommendations of Zero Carbon Britain
The report, published by the Centre for Alternative Technology, describes how Britain can drastically cut carbon emissions AND keep the lights on, without opting for nuclear energy! Among the measures it advocates are:
- Smart management of electricity from 100% renewable sources
- Production of synthetic gas and liquid fuels from biomass
- Change the nation's diet - eat less meat and dairy products, and grow more food in the UK
- Carbon capture by planting forests and restoring peatland
The full report can be downloaded from the Zero Carbon Britain website.
Members of Sustainability Matters present a copy of the latest Zero Carbon Britain report
to the Mayor, Ray Sutherland, Leader of the Council, Mike Heenan,
and Head of Policy and Improvement, Norman Jones.
The urgency of the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions was underlined recently by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which reported that rather than declining, emissions have accelerated in recent years. See Greenhouse gas emissions 'highest in human history' says IPCC report.