Brentwood commits to borough being carbon neutral by 2040

Brentwood Council says it is committed to becoming a carbon neutral borough by 2040 as it sets out its strategy to achieve its ambitions goals across a variety of sectors.

Specifically it is focusing helping push behavioural change among residents – while the council is only responsible for between two and five per cent of emissions in the borough, it does has the capability to influence up to a third of the total emissions generated by residents.

The council says it is planning to use the Brentwood Environmental Business Alliance (BEBA) to educate and encourage local businesses to reduce their environmental impact and encourage schools within the borough to become eco-schools.

It also wants to deliver quarterly workshops and campaigns for local residents on a range of subjects designed to reduce their environmental impact, and through public events to promote sustainable behaviours around energy, waste and biodiversity.

Despite agreeing at full council in July last year to “pledge to do everything within the council’s power to make Brentwood Borough Council area carbon neutral by 2040, a first draft consultation on plans to reduce the borough’s carbon footprint had read that it aims to be carbon neutral within its own activity by 2040, and borough-wide by 2050.

Leader of Brentwood Borough Council Chris Hossack said it was still committed to the pledge while speaking at the Environment, Enforcement and Housing Committee on March 7.

He said: “There’s no intention in this document for this to vary from anything this council has agreed.

“What is agreed by this council in this chamber democratically is what stands.”

The council has said it wants to improve green transitioning around transport. air quality, the built environment, the natural environment, waste and energy.

However, there was criticism over what was described as a lack of detail over specific targets.

Cllr Hossack added: “Wherever possible these objectives and these actions should be smart, they should be specific, they should be measurable and they should be time-bound and they should be realistic.

“We should achieve them so there’s a mix in there.

“I think there’s always more we can do. Nobody more than me wants to see smart objectives and strategies otherwise it is just words.

“I don’t want that to be the case.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter