More electric vehicle charging points will be among Gwynedd Council’s priorities over the coming years
More electric vehicle charging points will be among Gwynedd Council’s priorities over the coming years following a decision to do more to tackle climate change.
Meeting on Tuesday, Gwynedd Council’s cabinet passed amendments to the council’s overall plan which will now see reducing its carbon footprint officially listed as a major objective.
It means that responding to the climate emergency will now be given the same priority within the plan – which runs until 2023 – as improving access to housing, boosting Gwynedd’s economy and providing the best possible education.
The decision follows a full council meeting in July 2019 accepting a motion to back the declaration of a “climate emergency”, committing to taking decisive action to reduce carbon emissions and strive for a zero-carbon future.
Cllr Catrin Wager, who now sits on the council cabinet, had sought “innovative means” to achieve zero carbon targets, which followed a demonstration in Caernarfon by campaign group, Extinction Rebellion North Wales.
Following the decision to fully implement tacking the climate emergency within the plan, she said that councils were “well-placed” to take action on climate change.
She added, “By adapting our services we can have a real impact.
“I’m pleased that we are looking to put climate change as a priority so that we can work for the benefit of our communities for the years ahead.”
The council leader confirmed that measures being looked at over the coming years include the introduction of electric vehicles to the council’s fleet and looking at how hydrogen could power larger vans and trucks.
“As a Council, we have a key role to play in ensuring that our communities are prepared for the future, and in response to the climate emergency we are working towards becoming a carbon neutral authority,” said Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn.
“Following the Council’s decision last March to declare a climate emergency, we have been measuring the efforts already has in place to reduce our carbon footprint and to prepare communities to respond to future changes in the climate.
“Over the past decade, the Council has made important steps by investing in more energy efficient boilers and heating systems in our buildings, better insulation, solar panels, installing energy-saving LED lamps on our streets and cutting down on car journeys.
“These efforts have meant that Gwynedd Council’s carbon emissions have been cut by almost 40% over the past ten years.
“We continue to work with the county’s residents to encourage households to make the most of the convenient recycling collections we have on-offer across the county. In addition 11,000 tonnes of food waste is processed at the Gwyriad facility near Clynnog Fawr where scraps are treated and help to generate 3,500 megawatts of electricity – enough to power a thousand homes.
“At next month’s full Council, members will consider an application for funding to install charging points at the Council’s car-parks as part of efforts to introduce electric vehicles to the authority’s fleet over the coming years.
“Work will now be carried out to publish and implement a specific Climate Change Action Plan to build on the significant schemes already implemented by the Council.”
By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter
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