The UK government is committed to tackling the causes and effects of climate change, setting challenging targets to reduce the production of the polluting gases that cause the problem. The main gas is carbon dioxide, which is released from the burning of various fossil fuels to create energy.
The UK's targets are to reduce the production of these gases by 34% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050.Around 45% of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions come from the energy we use everyday at home and when we travel. By taking action to reduce these emissions, we can all play an important role in helping to reduce the impact of climate change and reduce energy bills in the future. Find out more about climate change.
The most up-to-date report on Bath and North East Somerset's area-wide produced carbon dioxide emissions are just under 1 Million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions (from businesses, council operations, domestic housing and road transport). This equates to 5.8 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide emissions per resident.
The Energy Saving Trust Carbon Assessment report (in Documents to the right) is a review of carbon emissions in the area. Its purpose is to provide insight into what is driving fuel consumption and carbon emissions in Bath and North East Somerset, and to act as a guide for the Council to help make informed decisions around what steps to take to reduce emissions.
With our partners in the area, Bath & North East Somerset Council has made a commitment to providing the leadership to help our communities to reduce carbon emissions across the area by 45% by 2026, in line with the national targets. Chapter 3.3 of the Sustainable Community Strategy sets out how we will do this.
Districts that plan to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to climate change will be more efficient and resilient and will be better placed to tackle other social and economic problems such as traffic congestion, community health and well-being and fuel poverty.
Action is being taken by the Council and other public sector organisations, such as Somer Housing, Bath Spa University, the University of Bath and the Royal United Hospital as well as a growing number of community groups and by householders to cut carbon dioxide emissions with more actions planned.
Alongside reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the Council is committed to working with our partners across the area, ensuring that plans are in place to manage the unavoidable impact of climate change and peak oil, and make sure our homes, businesses, public services and the natural environment are safeguarded.
Even if we stopped producing greenhouse gases today, the gases that have already been emitted would lead to changes in our climate. Further information on expected impacts of climate change on the South West can be found on the Climate South West website.
In addition, natural resources are predicted to become ever more expensive, particularly oil as we approach “peak oil”. More information can be found in this report from the UK Energy Research Council: The Global Oil Depletion report.
In order to help communities to be more prepared the Council has produced a Community Resilience manual
For more information on how businesses and residents can adapt to climate change, see the Climate South West website
|Measure your carbon footprint to gauge the environmental impact of your lifestyle - this will tell you the total amount of greenhouse gas, including CO2, that you are responsible for generating and emitting into the environment. The bigger the carbon footprint, the greater your negative impact on the environment.You can compare your carbon footprint against others and identify changes to your lifestyle that would reduce it. Once you’ve made a few changes, measure it again and see what difference it has made.|
The Council recognises that it has a unique role to play in Bath and North East Somerset becoming a more environmentally sustainable place to live, work and visit. Click on the links below to see what the Council is doing to green up its act: