Emissions slashed in response to climate emergency

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

We are on course to slash our carbon emissions by the end of March 2023 as we respond to the climate emergency.

Figures being presented to a meeting of our cabinet next week (13 December) show emissions will be down to 1,200 tonnes by March next year.

That’s a drop of more than 800 tonnes when compared to the year 2021/22.

Our vehicle fleet is the biggest contributor to the emissions total but many of our trucks, bin wagons and vans are currently using a climate-friendly alternative to diesel.

It’s called hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) which is up to 90 per cent less harmful than traditional diesel fuel.

Taking the fleet in isolation, emissions of carbon dioxide will be cut from almost 1,200 tonnes to just over 350 tonnes by the beginning of April next year.

The trial of the HVO fuel is the biggest anywhere in North Yorkshire and our decision to move to a different type of fuel has been recognised at national level.

The report to cabinet also provides an update on the work being carried out by the White Rose Home Improvement Agency to upgrade insulation in homes across the borough.

The initiative – run with North Yorkshire County Council and two other district councils – has benefitted more than 550 properties here to a value of £1.69 million.

The efficiency improvements have saved an estimated £6 million in energy bills for those households and reduced the impact they have on the environment.

A separate project, to install dozens of electric vehicle charging points across the borough, will come to fruition in a few weeks when the first one is switched on.

We secured more than £260,000 for 48 charge points with each one capable of providing power to two vehicles at once.

Reflecting the wider climate work with partner organisations, the cabinet is being asked to endorse York and North Yorkshire’s ‘Routemap to Carbon Negative’ by 2040.

It has been developed by the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and was formally launched earlier this year.

By endorsing the roadmap, cabinet will show its commitment to the climate change ambitions of the whole county.

Councillor Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff, cabinet member for the environment and sustainability, said:

“We have achieved so much since we declared a climate emergency, but there is still work to do to lessen our own impact on the environment.

“I am pleased our large-scale trial with the HVO alternative to traditional diesel fuel will have a significant impact on our emissions by cutting them further.

“Our leadership in this area sets a great example for other large fleet vehicle operators.

“The investment we’ve secured to roll-out 96 charging bays for electric or hybrid vehicles across the borough will make it easier for households to move a low emission car.

“While the ambition to make York and North Yorkshire carbon negative by 2040 is very challenging, I hope cabinet colleagues endorse the approach to achieving it.”