Carbon emissions fall in Suffolk is slower than planned

CIVIC chiefs have expressed disappointment after figures revealed a slower-than-pledged cut in Suffolk's carbon emissions.

Projects such as putting solar panels on schools and turning off street lighting have seen Suffolk County Council's CO2 output fall to 79,431 tonnes in 2011/12, down from 90,472 the previous year.

But the authority, which wants to become the UK's greenest county, is falling short on progress to meet a 60pc cut by 2025.

In order to be on course to meet that target, it should have reduced emissions by 9pc by this year – it has only achieved a 6.2% cut.

Andrew Stringer, deputy leader of the green and independent group on Suffolk County Council, said: 'There's still much to be done and we have to be very careful that the downturn [in emissions] is not just workers who are no longer on the books. Outsourcing could be a way of reducing the figures.'

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The council said projects like fitting 24 council buildings with biomass boilers and closing inefficient buildings such as St Edmund House would reduce emissions further.

Lisa Chambers, cabinet member responsible for environment and property management, said: 'I am pleased to say that the county council's carbon emissions are reducing and this is in no small part down to a number of green initiatives designed to reduce our carbon footprint.

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'I am, however, disappointed by the rate of the reduction.

'For the first time, the county has one politician responsible for the greenest county and property management, which means we're in the best possible position to drive down the our carbon emissions. The county council is delivering some significant carbon reduction projects in our buildings which I believe will help us get back on track.

'I plan to use my position to challenge the council to do even more to cut its carbon emissions so that we can meet our 60pc reduction target by 2025.'

Former council leader Jeremy Pembroke announced four years ago Suffolk's bid to become the greenest county in the country.

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