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Council calls for Harlow businesses and organisations to help town tackle climate change

News / Thu 4th Nov 2021 at 09:12am

HARLOW Council is encouraging businesses and organisations to do what they can to tackle climate change for the town as the UK hosts the UN Climate Change Conference (known as COP26).

Back in September 2021 for the first time ever Harlow Council agreed a target to hit Net Zero carbon emissions by 2040. The target is 10 years before the UK’s commitment of reaching Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

The council also set a target to reduce its carbon emissions by 2026 by 50% when compared to the 2014/15 level.

The council has set a number of actions it will take to deliver Net Zero:

  • Council will only buy electric vehicles from 2022/23
  • No new gas boilers in council operational buildings from 2025/26
  • HTS to commit to Net Zero by 2040 too
  • Next waste contract to include commitment to reach Net Zero by the end of it

The council has also agreed to install the first public electrical vehicle charging points in car parks that it owns. 

This week Harlow’s Cabinet on 4 November 2021 will consider a report on tree planting and biodiversity management as more actions are set to be agreed to combat climate change in the town. The report is recommending: 

  • Planting over 2,000 new trees as part of a new community tree planting scheme
  • Increasing wildflower planting around the town from 4 areas to at least 8 areas in 2022
  • Ending the use of single use plastics in all of the council’s tree planting and biodiversity work

Councillor Alastair Gunn, said that he hopes that the council’s ongoing climate pledges and this week’s COP26 event will prompt other businesses and organisations in the town to follow, he said:

“The COP26 climate summit being hosted in the UK is another opportunity for businesses and organisations to consider what they can do for future generations and the plant. The decision we made recently to set a target for Net Zero for the first time ever was an important statement to the town and to businesses and organisations which are based here. Harlow Council is serious about tackling climate change and we all need to and can do our bit for Harlow’s future. Getting this right is critical to making Harlow an even greater engine for opportunity and prosperity in the East of England.”

“Tackling climate change is this century’s single most pressing challenge. How that challenge is met will define the world in which we all live and will impact the lives of people for generations to come.

“This matters to Harlow and addressing the Council’s own carbon emissions is critical to safeguarding the local environment, and ensuring Harlow is a town fit for the future. While there has been good progress in the last ten years by the council to reduce its carbon emissions, there is still a significant amount of work left, with the most complex and costly decisions yet to be taken. Now we have a plan place and a clear target I am confident we can make progress in the coming years.”

Information resources for businesses on grants and support available:

·         Business Climate Hub https://businessclimatehub.org/uk/

·         South East Business Hub https://southeastbusiness.org.uk

·         Federation of Small Businesses https://www.fsb.org.uk

·         OFGEM  https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/information-consumers/energy-advice-businesses/find-business-energy-efficiency-grants-and-schemes

·         Low Cost Carbon Across The South And East https://locase.co.uk

·         Energy Saving Trust https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/business/

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2 Comments for Council calls for Harlow businesses and organisations to help town tackle climate change:

Dave Jones
2021-11-04 14:36:14

Shouldn’t be too hard for HTS to hit Net Zero considering they don’t do anything anymore

Chris
2021-11-05 07:53:57

The whole net zero is just a terrible phrase to use in terms of what it actually means to the actual real world. Rather than genuinely reducing waste / emissions, all it simply refers to is offsetting the amount produced with counter actions, planting trees offsets, but if they die within a week... That doesn't matter its been balanced and offset by accountant type balance sheets and hey presto they're net zero now. Another false government bulls**t approach to pull the wool over the eyes of the citizens. Also as a business owner I've not been approached or encouraged by the council to address this issue... Another paperwork exercise! "we've met our minimum legal duties"

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