This is an introduction to the issue of Climate Change and what the Council is doing to combat it. It also provides links to the evidence/science and support available so the wider community can also play their part in reducing the impact of climate change and reduce their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
What is the Council doing?
Cannock Chase Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and set a vision for the District to become carbon neutral by 2030. Local authorities are directly responsible for a small percentage of the carbon dioxide (CO2) produced in their areas, but they nevertheless have an important role to play in encouraging their residents, businesses, and local organisations to achieve zero carbon targets.
The Council’s initial plans for tackling climate change include producing a costed action plan on how to achieve its carbon neutral vision. It recognises that extensive engagement will be necessary to achieve the action plan. The plan is expected to be completed in autumn 2021.
The Council is also in the process of creating a detailed baseline to assess the District’s current position. According to 2016 data from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Cannock Chase District had the second lowest Carbon Emissions Per Capita (tonnes) in Staffordshire at 4.1. In 2005 it had been 6.3.
The single most significant carbon reduction event in the District in recent times has been the closure of the coal burning Rugeley Power Station in mid-2016. The electrification of the Chase rail line was another contributor to the reduction in CO2. Meanwhile, having the Cannock Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the District with its trees and forests helps absorb CO2 and potentially harmful gasses from the air and release oxygen.
Two initiatives in the District directly tackling climate change right now are Zero Carbon Rugeley/SLES (Smart Local Energy System) http://www.rugeleypower.com/zero-carbon-rugeley-project/ and Chase Community Solar http://chasesolar.org.uk/
What can you do?
A good way to start is to understand your own carbon footprint. This is the total amount of greenhouse gases (including carbon dioxide and methane) that are generated by your actions. The following tools will help you calculate your footprint and then decide what actions you can take to reduce it and therefore help protect our planet.
The science and the evidence
It is now certain that human activities are resulting in a warming climate. Our anthropogenic GHG emissions can be seen in the data. Carbon Dioxide (the main GHG) at the turn of the industrial revolution was 280 ppm; it is now 400+ ppm.
UK Met Office
IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
Information from the IPCC on climate change.
Last Updated: 14/09/2021