Gloucestershire’s Liberal Democrats are keeping up the pressure on the climate emergency next week by demanding that all public buildings or developments on County Council land are carbon neutral. 

Councillor Paul Hodgkinson, leader of Gloucestershire’s Lib Dem Group, is bringing a motion to Full Council on 11 September which will commit the county council to ensuring all public buildings commissioned are carbon neutral as well as legally binding developers to ensure that all developments on land disposed of by the County Council are carbon neutral. Any offsetting could be financed by the Council. 

At present, the housing industry constitutes over a third of the UK’s total carbon emissions – a position which is completely unsustainable if the UK is to meet its carbon neutral target by 2050 and if Gloucestershire is to reduce its carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2030.

Commenting on the motion, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson said:

“Gloucestershire County Council has taken an important step by declaring a Climate Emergency, following our motion back in May.  However it is time to take steps to match the sentiment, and the housing industry is an important area to tackle. 

“While this is undoubtedly an ambitious policy, it is not an overly optimistic green dream.  Indeed, this would already have been national policy on all houses three years ago were it not for George Osborne’s intervention in 2015 – a move resisted by the Liberal Democrats in Government.

“We are therefore calling on the County Council to flex its significant legal clout and use this avenue to make a significant dent in the county’s future climate emissions.”

Cllr Ben Evans, seconder of the motion, also said:

“Making housing carbon neutral isn’t only great for the planet and our local environment, but also Gloucestershire’s residents , with better insulation and on-site renewable energy production bringing down everyone’s bills. 

“I hope that the County Council’s Conservatives are ambitious enough to pass our motion unamended and to treat the Climate Crisis as the emergency they’ve declared it to be.”

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