The debate on Lincoln’s carbon emissions has sparked renewed interest with climate change threatening the way we live.
With the City of Lincoln Council producing 2,062 tonnes of GHG emissions in 2010/11 and the city of Lincoln emitting in excess of half a million tonnes, the Full Council meeting on September 27 presented the ideal platform to unveil measures taken and campaigns in place to tackle the city’s CO2 levels.
Councillor Fay Smith, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services and Public Protection, discussed her four-page report in a bid to highlight the importance of climate change and to encourage residents of Lincoln to cut their carbon emissions.
“When we took back control we thought we needed to re-focus,” Labour Councillor Smith said.
“We decided that we wanted to re-emphasise Lincoln’s carbon footprint. We’ve always been working towards that since the Kyoto [Protocol] in 1997.”
Smith discussed the steps that have reduced Lincoln’s carbon footprint.
So far these include the installation of LED lighting at Broadgate and Lucy Tower St car parks, solar thermal hot water, low-carbon design principles, and the reduction of natural resources such as electricity and gas as well as water, transport and waste.
Further energy reduction projects have already been put in place.
These consist of the extension of the green waste collection service to the rest of the city, supporting the growth of electric cars by working in conjunction with Midlands Plugged in Places, working together with Anglican Water to save water consumption and repair faults, and investigating the possibility of solar and wind powered lighting at Tentercroft car park.
The real-life problems of fuel poverty, coastal flooding, and the consumption of scarce resources such as fossil fuels means the biggest challenge the council face is solving the issue of Lincoln’s carbon footprint in a way that delivers improved changes for our environment.
“I know there are other greenhouse gases, but the one people focus on is carbon,” Smith said.
“We want to explore what’s happening and then see how we can all work together for the benefit of everybody. The end result is that we need to reduce Lincoln’s carbon emissions; everybody needs to reduce carbon emissions.”
Smith also introduced a new campaign, Lincoln Green. Launching in October, any new initiatives undertaken by the council to cut CO2 levels will fall under this programme.
The first one to take place will feature the council’s car parks which, will include leaflets encouraging residents to cut their consumption as well as a competition.
Funding is achieved through various schemes enabling the city to borrow money in interest free loans. These are then repaid back over three to five years through the energy savings before Lincoln starts to make a profit, which in turn presents the opportunity for further monetary and environmental benefits.
Reducing Lincoln’s carbon emissions is not a quick fix solution, but the City of Lincoln Council is pushing the importance of climate change with the introduction of different schemes in place.
Council leader Ric Metcalfe said, “I don’t think we can go on consuming at the same rate as we have been doing.
“I think that we have all got to be that little bit more frugal and thoughtful about our consumption because I think we owe it to our children and grandchildren to make sure that we haven’t depleted the resources.”