Can we make Northleach carbon neutral?
Carbon Neutral Northleach (CNN) is a long-term project to reduce the carbon footprint of the Parish. We are forming a working group to develop and deliver a programme that significantly reduces our carbon dioxide emissions over the next 10 years. The more people that are involved, the greater the success. Dozens of people doing a bit is going to have more impact than just a few enthusiasts.
How much Carbon Dioxide (CO2) does the Parish generate each year?
One of the tasks of CNN will be to provide a realistic estimate of carbon emissions, but one 4-bedroom household in the Parish (of three people with three cars) has been calculated to produce around 30 tonnes of CO2 each year. For us to just offset that without any reduction, would necessitate planting 1200 trees which is fairly unrealistic. Looking at the population and housing data for the parish, combined with industry including farming, a rough estimate is that the Parish contributes over 20,000 tonnes of CO2 annually (including methane).
How will we go about significantly reducing our carbon footprint?
An initial meeting for those interested in supporting the project will take place in January. from then on, actual meetings will be sporadic with most of the communication being electronic and by social media.
There are two things we can do;
-Produce less CO2 (e.g. insulation, energy efficiency, green energy, reduce non-recycled rubbish).
-Offset what CO2 we produce (e.g. tree planting, supporting carbon reduction and methane capture schemes elsewhere).
The first meeting will be to get your ideas, to agree our plan, the priorities and an outline timetable. There are of course lots of approaches. Some initial thoughts below.
Establish a starting point through questionnaires, surveys, research etc to identify a good estimate of our carbon footprint.
Learn from other similar projects across the UK.
Engage the community in the objectives of the project and get their support.
Identify a strategy for energy reduction and where we cannot reduce, how we can effectively offset by supporting CO2 reduction elsewhere. The key will be to have a number of different initiatives.
Pursue funding, grants, sponsorship, business partnerships to resource activity.
Initiate ‘easy wins’ e.g. a green energy preferred electricity supplier for the Town.
There should be no negative financial impact on residents.
Volunteers / supporters / working group members
It doesn’t matter what we call you. We need you! It doesn’t matter how little or much of your time you can give to the project, we want as many people as possible involved. ‘Many hands make light work’.
There is a long list of tasks to share out. These include helping with:
● the research to identify our actual carbon footprint
● discussing options and ideas to reduce the carbon footprint
● identifying grants and funding opportunities
● liaising with public and other bodies for support and advice
● reviewing published research and information
● engaging the support of local businesses and landowners
● keeping the Parish informed on the project and carbon reduction opportunities
● negotiating with energy suppliers
● measuring reductions in our carbon footprint
Together we are stronger
This is of course, a significant challenge and can only be achieved by the support of as many people as possible in the Parish. Working together to significantly reduce (and maybe eliminate) our carbon footprint as a Parish will have a much greater impact and leverage than some of us just doing our bit in isolation.
If you are interested in being involved, please contact Peter Mills who is coordinating the project: by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by text to 07734084290. You will then be advised of when the first meeting will be taking place.
Expressing your interest does not automatically commit you to being involved or doing loads of work, just that you want to find out more.
It won’t work with just a few of us. Many hands are needed to make a difference.