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Council could be set for almost net carbon neutrality by 2041

PUBLISHED: 08:27 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:48 04 December 2019

Ian Devereux, West Norfolk's cabinet member for the environment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ian Devereux, West Norfolk's cabinet member for the environment. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A Norfolk council could be on track to be almost carbon neutral in the next two decades, councillors have been told.

Peat on the Lynn to Ely line. Photo: SubmittedPeat on the Lynn to Ely line. Photo: Submitted

Officers working on climate change in King's Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council (KLWNBC) have highlighted a "reduction pathway" which could see the council reaching 95pc carbon neutrality by 2041.

A report, presented to the council's environment and community panel on Tuesday, December 3, stated: "In October the Tyndall Centre for Climatic Research published a report, stating that King's Lynn and West Norfolk had an 8,000,000 tonne lifetime carbon budget.

"This is in order for King's Lynn and West Norfolk to align with the Paris Agreement target of 2C, ideally 1.5V of warming.

"They suggested a reduction pathway, bringing the King's Lynn and West Norfolk district to 95pc carbon neutrality by 2041."

Officers said work in this area was ongoing and the figure had not officially been accepted as a target.

Ged Greaves told councillors: "We have a further challenge to tackle carbon emissions across the whole geographical area.

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"We are finding out what the council is doing and finding out what best practice is."

Officers are carrying out a carbon audit of the council's emissions which is expected to be completed by January 2020.

The report found the council area emitted 1405.3 ktCO2 in 2017, with 50pc coming from industry and commercial emissions, 28pc from road transport and 17pc from domestic use.

A further 5pc came from land use and forestry, and officers stated: "Whilst many districts have a CO2 sink with forestry, we (like other fen districts) are a net CO2 contributor.

"This is due to methane or CO2 emissions from the fen peat deposits."

Henry Saunders, a University of East Anglia (UEA) environmental science student, who is an intern working on the project, told the council: "In some areas it will offset.

"Here we don't have tree processes - in Thetford there's a massive amount of trees and they soak up the CO2.

"We're affected by the peat emissions. We're a net emitter of CO2."

Councillors noted the contents of the report, which will allow the council to make future decisions about environmental policies.

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