Reducing the impact of climate change on Hampshire’s residents is the most pressing reason to manage our carbon emissions. Our climate change web pages give more information about why climate change is so important, and explains the commitments the County Council has made to tackle it, such as the Aalborg Commitment
However, there are also some short-term practical and financial reasons to explain why the Council is focusing on carbon management.
The Government has introduced a carbon tax scheme for large organisations, such as retail chains, supermarkets, hospitals, universities and local authorities. The scheme is known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).
From 2011, the organisations involved (including Hampshire County Council) will have to purchase carbon credits based on their emissions. The Government intends the CRC to reduce CO2 emissions from these large organisations by 8.5% per annum between 2008 and 2020 by limiting the number of credits available to the participating organisations.
Reducing the use of energy is one of the principal ways to reduce carbon consumption. Although it can cost money to improve energy efficiency, this money can be recouped - either in savings on the County Council's energy bills, or in income generated from feed-in tariffs. In fact, our carbon management plan is expected to save £3.5 million over five years.
The energy we use, such as heat, light and electricity, is the main source of our carbon emissions. Being energy efficient means minimising the amount of energy that gets used when we are delivering our services. This not only reduces our carbon footprint – it saves money too.
Hampshire is already performing well in terms of energy efficiency, but there are still improvements we can make.