As a major UN climate change summit begins in Paris today, visitors and communities in the Lake District are being thanked for helping to achieve an ambitious local target for CO2 reduction.
The Lake District National Park Partnership set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by one per cent per year, each year, through a collaborative approach, and this target is being met. Greenhouse gas emissions from the Lake District were estimated at 2.3 million tonnes a year in 2010, so the target of one per cent equates to an emissions saving of 23,000 tonnes. The Lake District National Park was one of the first areas in the world to set its own carbon budget when the initiative was introduced in 2008 to coincide with the UK Climate Change Act, and the approach has since been adopted by other local areas.
The main contributors to meeting the reduction target are sustainable travel programmes like GoLakes Travel, renewable energy installations and woodland creation and peatland restoration.
Director of Sustainable Development for the Lake District National Park, Steve Ratcliffe, said: “We are delighted that people are playing their part in reducing the overall effects of climate change and its impact on the Lake District landscape and its communities. By making small changes such as sourcing local food and drink, travelling sustainably and conserving energy, we have achieved a significant milestone for the Partnership’s carbon budget. By continuing this local action it will help us to meet our ongoing commitment and the UK’s ambitious national targets for carbon reduction.”
Key highlights since the Partnership’s low carbon initiative was launched in 2008 include:
* GoLakes Travel reduced emissions by 40,000 tonnes over the past three years
* Renewable energy installations have saved 39,000 tonnes
* Woodland creation and peatland restoration has enabled 15,000 tonnes to be absorbed
As an organisation, the Lake District National Park Authority has also continued to reduce its own CO2 emissions by 15 per cent from 2012 to 2015 through actions including the installation of a biomass heating system at Murley Moss and lower emission vehicles.
For more ideas of how to contribute towards a low carbon Lake District visit http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/caringfor/projects/lowcarbonlakedistrict