St Albans trumps target to reduce CO2 emissions by 100 per cent but Greens want ‘proper strategy’

PUBLISHED: 19:00 20 September 2018

Traffic queuing on Holywell Hill. Picture: Danny Loo.

Traffic queuing on Holywell Hill. Picture: Danny Loo.


St Albans district has cut its carbon dioxide emissions by nearly double the council’s target.

New government figures for 2016 show the district’s CO2 emissions decreased by 5.5 per cent on the year before, almost double the council’s annual target of three per cent.

The council’s portfolio holder for the environment Frances Leonard said: “Reducing CO2 emissions is a very important task and much work has gone into achieving this objective.

“In practice, this means reducing energy wastage by switching off lighting and equipment when we’re not using them, recycling more or travelling by car and plane less.

“I’m pleased we have met our main target of cutting the district’s overall emissions by three per cent a year. We have been taking measures to cut emissions from our own buildings and vehicles, and will explore all other opportunities to reduce unnecessary consumption.

“We need businesses and householders across the district to get involved and they are responding positively to the challenge. That is illustrated by the success of Sustainable St Albans Week, an event that has grown substantially in recent years.”

The district’s road transport emissions for 2016 are six per cent lower than 2006, which is being attributed to improvements in vehicle efficiency.

Figures for 2017/18 showing emissions from council operations have decreased by 18.8 per cent since 2008/09. The target is 20 per cent by 2020/21.

Council officers admitted the authority does not control the amount of emissions across the district, instead encouraging citizens to take action to reduce them.

Green Party councillor Simon Grover said: “What is missing here is a proper strategy for the district which the council has never done and have shown no sign of doing.

“Plenty of councils are doing it, like in Bristol and Manchester, saying how can we help the entire population of our area, through such things as changes to the local economy.

“Our council is doing bits and bobs like engine idling, but they are small things, not a strategy, which we need to have.”

To see the government’s full report, visit This data is drawn from the subset dataset of the data tables.

• The government has said the 2016 figures have only now been worked out due to the complexity of reporting CO2 emissions.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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