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Warwickshire County Council's carbon emissions

Where we are now

Since 2014, we have reported on our emissions related to natural gas, electricity use in buildings and for streetlighting, and fuel use for our own vehicle fleet. We have seen a 63% reduction in these emissions between 2014 and 2020. This has been due to the decarbonisation of grid electricity and replacing sodium bulbs in streetlights with LEDs.

We have committed to achieve carbon net zero by 2030 for the following emissions sources:

  • Scope 1 – Direct emissions from assets we control: building gas / oil use, fuel use from vehicles we own
  • Scope 2 – Emissions from purchased electricity in our buildings and streetlighting
  • Scope 3 – Indirect emissions from the waste we generate, the water we consume, business travel and upstream energy.

In 2019, these emissions equated to 18,245 tonnes of CO2e. We have set this as our baseline from which to measure future progress towards our 2030 target.

We continue to understand areas to target for Scope 3 reductions. Whilst these emissions are not directly within our control, we will work with our contractors, suppliers and other partners to influence and support reductions in these areas.

The table below shows our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions:

Area Emissions (CO2e) Percentage of total
Natural gas consumption in buildings 6057 33%
Purchased electricity in buildings 4028 22%
Upstream energy 2641 14%
Street lighting 2592 14%
Business travel 1391 8%
WCC's vehicle fleet 1,182 6%
Water 192 1%
Waste generated in operations 114 1%
Fugitive emissions 48 1%
Total 18,245 100%

To measure progress towards our target of net zero by 2030, we have set interim targets of reducing emissions by 29% by 2026 and 46% by 2030 compared to our 2019 baseline figure. This is in line with the scientifically informed Sectoral Decarbonisation Approach (SDA) which sets proportional targets to limit global temperature rises to 1.5⁰C.

Whilst we expect emission levels to reduce due to external factors, we will need to take the actions outlined in this Strategy to lower residual emissions further. Even so, based on a target of 46% reduction, there will still be 9,816 tonnes of CO2e required to be inset or offset each year. We will therefore be developing a plan in 2024 to review the options and viability for insetting and offsetting.

Emissions in 2021 were 16,712 CO2e, on track against our reduction trajectory.