Net Zero in a bubble

Reality-check for council as net zero carbon plan is costed at £4.7 BILLION

1 min read

A Staffordshire council is having a re-think after its carbon neutral policy was costed at a staggering £4.7 billion. 

Cannock Chase District Council passed a Climate Emergency Motion in 2019 to make the whole of its geographical area net zero by 2030. 

A detailed costed action plan commissioned from consultants AECOM has revealed the eye-watering capital investment that would be required. 

One of the biggest issues is the reliance across the district on natural gas for space and water heating in both domestic and commercial settings. 

In response Cannock Chase is now recommending that the target is now modified to apply to the council’s own organisation rather than the wider district. 

It proposes that a fully-costed strategy should be produced for the council towards reaching net carbon zero as an organisation by the end of this decade.  

A dedicated budget would also be established during the 2023/24 budget-setting process and the strategy would be aligned with other Staffordshire councils many of whom have set an organisational rather than district or borough-wide targets. 

Councillors will vote on the new plans at the next council meeting on January 18.  

Councillor Justin Johnson, Environment and Climate Change Portfolio Leader
Councillor Justin Johnson, Environment and Climate Change Portfolio Leader

Councillor Justin Johnson, Environment and Climate Change Portfolio Leader, pictured above, said: “In making these recommendations we want to stress that Cabinet is fully committed to achieving carbon neutrality. 

“Achieving carbon neutrality in Cannock Chase is going to be something we will all need to support and get involved in, whether as residents, businesses or as organisations like the council.” 

Daily Focus asked a number of Staffordshire councils to outline their carbon neutral plans. 

Staffordshire County Council has made a commitment as an organisation to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.    

The Council has dedicated and secured over £5.4m of support to its net carbon zero journey over and above usual budget allocations.  

A further £1million Investment Fund has been made available over five years for sustainability projects to support the climate change agenda.  

Stafford Borough Council is aiming to become carbon neutral by 2040 and is carrying out feasibility studies for specific areas of work. 

Its Climate Change and Green Recovery Strategy states that it will work to make its own organisation carbon neutral and will liaise with other Government, elected bodies, partners, residents and businesses to take action that contributes to carbon neutrality. 

Ron Quenby

Senior journalist with more than 25 years’ experience of working as a news reporter for provincial and national newspapers. Ron’s varied skills include feature writing, interviewing for real life stories and compiling specialist articles for in-house publications.

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