Greener KCC pledges to cut carbon output
We will cut carbon emissions from our offices and schools by 10 per cent, vows county council
AS the main political parties fight to display their green credentials, Kent County Council has launched its own bid to be more environmentally-friendly.
The ruling Conservative administration at County Hall has pledged to cut carbon emissions from its buildings by 10 per cent in three years and by a fifth by 2015.
County councillors are aiming to make their offices, schools, libraries and other buildings more energy efficient by curbing the 77,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide it is estimated they pump into the atmosphere each year.
A 10 per cent cut would result in 7,700 fewer tonnes of CO2 and save the authority more than £2million.
But council chiefs admit their target presents a challenge because of the age and condition of many buildings, particularly the county’s 600-plus schools.
Cllr Keith Ferrin (Con), KCC cabinet member for the environment, warned: “We’re in a difficult position compared with other authorities because many of our buildings are very old indeed. A substantial number of our schools are Victorian, never mind 20th century.”
About £1million will be spent between now and 2010 on more efficient ways of heating and lighting buildings, with about a third of that money coming from grants from the Carbon Trust, a government agency.
The council also plans to appoint a senior officer to spearhead its green policies.
A cabinet report presented to county councillors has revealed that KCC is one of the highest producers of carbon dioxide when it comes to buildings, emitting more than Bristol, Nottingham, Aberdeen and Warwickshire.
Birmingham is one of the few that produces more, at some 177,359 tonnes a year.
The initiative will not be confined to buildings.
The county council says it is already working to make streetlights, traffic lights and its own vehicle fleet more energy-efficient but has yet to set specific targets in these areas.