Plans to work towards making Torbay Council and Torbay carbon neutral by 2030 are expected to be agreed next week.
More tree planting, better walking and cycling routes, solar power and electric charging points are just some of the measures included in the Carbon Neutral ten point action plan to be delivered this year.
Residents can also reduce their carbon emissions and save money on their energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient with measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation. Help is at hand through expert advice offered by local partners Exeter Community Energy. This service is helping Torbay to tackle fuel poverty.
The Council also aims to work towards reducing its own emissions by 2030 and will develop a Carbon Neutral Council programme and action plan.
The Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and is signed up to the Devon Climate Emergency and has already been undertaking a range of actions to address climate change and reduce its carbon footprint. It also forms a key part of Torbay Council’s Community and Corporate Plan.
The action plan includes:
· Exploring the possibility of two new solar farms at Brokenbury and The Willows
· A new Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan
· New sea walls along Paignton and Preston sea fronts
· Plans to plant more than 350 trees and launch a community Tree Warden scheme
· A safer, more direct and attractive walking and cycling connection between Goodrington and Broadsands
· Over the next three years we aim to increase recycling rates from the current 40% to 50%
· Offering the Eco Flexible Eligibility Scheme and working with Exeter Community Energy we will deliver energy saving advice to homes in fuel poverty
· New solar panels to reduce Torbay Leisure Centre’s carbon emissions
· Electric vehicle charging points at selected car parks in Torbay
· Targeted, practical energy efficiency advice to residents in the Melville Street Project area
Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said: “We are committed to tackling climate change and reducing our carbon footprint and these immediate and long term actions and plans demonstrates that we are extremely serious about this issue.
“We will support residents to make their homes more energy efficient, make it easier for people to walk and cycle and increase recycling and tree planting.
“As well as being good for the environment, all these actions have a range of other benefits, for example, choosing to use your car less and commuting by walking or cycling once a week could save around 346kg of CO2 every year and walking regularly reduces your risk of heart disease by 35% – but there are also financial benefits – reducing your car use by a quarter could save up to £379 in fuel costs per year. This is why we are improving our walking and cycling network across the Bay to help you choose to walk and cycle more.
“The initial one year action plan outlines some of the Council’s immediate plans and plans to work with the community to co-develop a new carbon neutral Torbay action plan. This will focus on priority actions beyond 2021 and look towards achieving our 2030 target.”
The carbon neutral approach for 2021 and the Initial Action Plan will be considered by cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday 23 March 2021.
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