Council Takes Positive Steps on Decarbonisation

The Council’s Executive Committee today welcomed a report outlining its progress on decarbonisation. 

A decarbonisation Board led by the Managing Director is tasked with delivering this important strategy and is able to report that good progress is being made against its 9 key target areas for focus a year after Council agreed its formal plan. This process is being based on good practice from the Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN) at Leeds University.

The first area of focus is on Transport Direct’ which makes up 8% of the Council’s gross carbon emissions.  The Council now has a clear action plan in place for this area and some of the main actions include:

• Development of a plan to manage and replace the Council’s fleet of vehicles with ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV).
• Develop and resource a low carbon depot from which to operate front line services.
• Consider how to further reduce commute and travel arrangements for staff. This will include active travel plans and e-charging for cycles for example.
• Encourage staff to switch to ULEV and develop a charging infrastructure to support this.
The next step is to focus on the other target areas including Electricity, Heating and Procurement (Works) which collectively make up 22% of the Council’s gross carbon emissions. This approach will enable detailed plans to be developed to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint further in the coming years in line with the Welsh Government’s ambition for the public sector in Wales to be Carbon Neutral by 2030.

Cllr Dai Davies, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Regeneration and Economic Development at Blaenau Gwent Council, commented:

‘I’m delighted that this report shows the excellent work and rapid progress that the Council has made in driving forward its ‘Decarbonisation Plan’.   I have no doubt that this Plan is one of the most important pieces of work for the Council and we have agreed a very clear direction for the way forward and how we will work to achieve our ambition to become a carbon neutral organisation. I’m very excited and proud to be a part of this work.

This is a global issue and it’s absolutely vital that we act now to protect our environment for the well-being of future generations and our future planning and decision making must reflect this."

Notes and Background:

1. The Council formally adopted its decarbonisation plan and declared a climate emergency on 24 September 2020.

2. The plan sets out how the Council could reduce organisational emissions across nine transitions:

• Transport Direct
• Transport Commissioned
• Sequestration
• Procurement Goods
• Procurement Services
• Procurement Works
• Electricity
• Heat
• Waste

3. The Blaenau Gwent Climate Change Citizens Assembly was the very first of its kind in Wales. In March 2021, it brought together residents from the Blaenau Gwent area to consider the question: ‘What should we do in Blaenau Gwent to tackle the climate crisis in a way that is fair and improves living standards for everyone?’.

44 participants from the area attended the Assembly meeting for a total of 23 hours to hear evidence from over 20 different experts, discuss the issues, and produce recommendations for what local public service organisations, communities and individuals could do to address the climate crisis and improve lives for people in Blaenau Gwent.

The assembly members made a number of recommendations. The Council is also taking a lead role in 
developing the response provided to the Climate Assembly on behalf of the Blaenau Gwent Public Services Board and this work is also underway and will be completed this Autumn.