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Aiming to be Britain's first carbon-neutral council

South Cambridgeshire has recycling bins for small electrical appliances. Credit: ITV News Anglia

South Cambridgeshire council is aiming to show off its green credentials by becoming the UK's first carbon neutral local authority.

  • Click to watch a video report by ITV News Anglia's Sascha Williams

The Government wants to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which contributes to the warming of the atmosphere.

The UK Climate Projections 2018 study says that, under a scenario with the highest emissions, summer temperatures could be up to around 5°C hotter by 2070.

The council wants a greater use of electric cars to reduce carbon emissions. Credit: ITV News Anglia

South Cambridgeshire council wants to reduce the emissions it is responsible for to zero. It will be looking at the way houses are built and transport.

Some homes in the area are designed to be energy efficient by using ground source water pipes, thermal blinds, solar panels and special ventilation which redistributes warm air.

"We will design new homes that design in better energy efficiency. We'll look at their renewable energy stores and how they're placed for air pollution and noise mitigation.

"We will also be looking at where we place them - are they close to low-carbon transport options?"

– Cllr Pippa Heylings, South Cambridgeshire Council
New homes could be built to be more energy efficient. Credit: ITV News Anglia

South Cambridgeshire’s next Local Plan will consider how new homes, jobs and services will support the commitment to making South Cambridgeshire Carbon-neutral by 2050.

It is a joint local plan with Cambridge City Council, which is aiming to make Cambridge zero carbon by the same date.

It will look at ways South Cambridgeshire District Council can press for a carbon-free area through the design of homes and other buildings, land use including open space, transport links, energy supplies and waste and recycling services.

More car charging points will be needed if the use of electric cars expands. Credit: ITV News Anglia

“We are determined to put the environment at the centre of everything we do. We will be green to the core in everything that we do. "The national and international headlines about the impacts of climate change are a stark reminder that we have a responsibility to act, and as a local planning authority we are in the unique position of being able to work with residents, businesses and developers and take the lead in this critical area."

– Cllr Bridget Smith, Leader, South Cambridgeshire Council