Leicestershire pledges to reach net zero carbon by 2045

by Emily Rooney

The leader of Leicestershire County Council has pledged to make the county carbon neutral by 2045.

Leicestershire has joined the UK100, a network of leaders from local government across the country, who have come together to pledge to have switched to clean energy by 2050.

The pledge that was made at a Leicestershire County Council meeting yesterday(2DEC) was for the county to reach ‘net zero’ by 2045.

‘Net zero’ differs from zero emissions as under a net zero plan, some emissions can still be created, but must be offset by using methods that reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Council leader Nick Rushton said: “I was delighted to sign Leicestershire up to the original UK100 pledge in 2017.

“Since that time, the council has declared a climate emergency and agreed a £16 million package of measures over the next four years to take action on reducing carbon, such as generating clean renewable energy on the council’s estate and increasing the efficiency of our buildings and street lighting.”

The only country that has set a date before 2050 to reach net zero is Sweden, and their date is 2045, in line with Leicestershire’s.

Mr Rushton added: “Our ultimate ambition is to become a carbon neutral council by 2030, and net zero countywide by 2045.

“Local government can play a vital role in achieving these targets, and being a part of the UK100 family, reinforces the collective message that reducing and eventually eliminating our carbon impact is everyone’s responsibility.

“Quite simply we cannot do this individually. But together, our future is in our hands.”

This 2045 net zero date puts Leicestershire five years ahead of UK Government targets. The county has already been in the UK100 for three years, despite the Government only setting a 2050 net zero date in 2019.