Mayor Dave Hodgson leads march towards zero carbon council
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough
This week's Climate Change Committee welcomed the Annual Greenhouse Gas Report that showed the council had reduced its carbon emissions by a further 15%.
Commenting on the report, Mayor Dave Hodgson said "These fantastic results show that we're on course to hit our carbon neutral target by 2030. I want to thank the phenomenal work of the team behind the changes we've made to become a more environmentally efficient council. We have invested in measures such as upgrading our heating system to biomass, installing smart LED lighting and moving to an evaporative cooling system for our data centre. We want to demonstrate leadership by getting our own house in order and encouraging others to do the same."
A timeline of Bedford Borough Council carbon reduction strategy:
2009 - Mayor Dave Hodgson's Climate Change Fund set up to provide 50% match funding for improvements that reduce carbon emissions and energy costs of community buildings within Bedford Borough.
2011 - Adopted the Carbon Management Plan to set out a programme to achieve a 40% reduction in carbon emissions.
2018 - The council exceeded this target, achieving a 62% carbon reduction.
2019 - The council declared a Climate Emergency and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.
2021 - Annual Greenhouse Gas Report shows council carbon emissions have reduced by a further 15%.
The council, led by Mayor Dave, have also worked hard to ensure the Borough continues to find new ways to reduce carbon emissions. These projects include a new solar farm at Bedford Green Technology and Innovation Park, electric vehicle charging points, and most recently a collaboration with Enterprise to set up its electric/hybrid vehicle Car Club at River Street Car Park.
Mayor Dave continued "Despite our progress within the council and as a Borough, more can be done to tackle the climate emergency. This is why I have signed a letter calling on the Prime Minister to announce at COP26 that he will be giving more powers and funding to local government. I encourage all councils to do the same so that we have the capacity to meet our net zero carbon targets."