Ambitious carbon cutting plan remains on track

By on 05/06/2010 in News

Birmingham's ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions remain firmly on track after it was announced that 120,745 tonnes of CO2 were saved in the 2009/10 financial year.

The figure, which beats a goal of 120,000 tonnes, was announced by Cllr Paul Tilsley, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, during the Birmingham Climate Change Festival on June 5 - which was also World Environment Day.

He revealed the figure during a speech made at the heart of the fun-filled festival activities in Centenary Square, the showpiece of which was a solar-powered circus, a fair-trade market and exhibition stands from green businesses.

The 2009/10 cut, worth an estimated £12million of savings to the Birmingham economy, follows on from the 2008/09 reduction of 103,039 tonnes (against a target of 100,000 tonnes).

By 2026, it is hoped that the city's CO2 levels will have been cut by 60 per cent when compared to the 1990 baseline that has been set.

Cllr Tilsley, who is also chairman of the Be Birmingham local strategic partnership, said: “I am proud and delighted to be able to announce that Birmingham's citizens, visitors and business have again done their bit to help us meet our challenging but ambitious goals to reduce CO2 levels.

“Everyone has a part to play - from residents making sure all lights are switched off when they leave a room at home right through to multinational companies overhauling the way the do business, each action makes a positive difference.

“There is still a long way to go, but if everyone with a link to the city continues to show such enthusiasm and drive, I am sure there will be even greater reductions to announce in the coming years as Birmingham becomes an even cleaner, greener city in which to live, work and play.”

Besides the city council, some of the many other organisations leading the way are Haldex Concentric Pumps (annual reduction of 2,538 tonnes), waste firm Smurfit Kappa UK (1,362 tonnes), Aston University (2,362 tonnes) and the NEC Group (2,067 tonnes)

A large slice of the savings were achieved in relatively simple ways such as installing energy efficient lighting, upgrading boilers and encouraging the users of buildings to switch off appliances and lights when not in use.

Next year, the goal is to achieve a CO2 reduction of 130,000 tonnes.

Keith Sexton, Executive Chairman of the Birmingham Environmental Partnership, which is part of Be Birmingham, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone that has done something to help make Birmingham green in the last 12 months.

“The key thing is to continuing engaging with people on this issue because the potential benefits are huge, not just for the environment but for the economy too.

“There is a great opportunity for Birmingham and the UK as a whole to take a lead on the low-carbon revolution and be at the forefront of the new business opportunities that are coming up on a day-by-day basis.”

Birmingham’s CO2 savings 2009-2010

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. In terms of financial savings, the Carbon Trust estimates that a saving of 1 tonne of CO2 that is achieved through the most cost effective measures (eg efficiency, resource reduction), equals £100 in business saving. Therefore the financial savings by organisations included in the figures could potentially equate to £12,074,500.

 
2. Individual case study documents on how the CO2 cuts were made by the organisations involved are available on request.

 
3. A factsheet outlining Birmingham's green credentials is available on request.

 
4. For more information on Be Birmingham, visit www.bebirmingham.org.uk

For further information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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