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Progress made towards becoming carbon neutral by 2025

Tower Hamlets Council has achieved an 18 per cent reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions compared to last year as its drive to become carbon neutral by 2025 continues.

Progress has been tracked as part of a carbon management plan, which commits the council to a 60 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020, potentially saving more than £2 million in the process.

To date the council has achieved a 58 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: “In March, we became one of the first councils to declare a climate emergency. Now it’s important that we make our actions match our words.

“I’m pleased to see that our greenhouse emissions are down by such a significant amount. It gives me confidence that we will achieve our ambitious aim of being carbon neutral by 2025.”

The council’s sustainable development team takes the lead on carbon reduction from local authority operations, including council offices and community buildings, schools, transport and street lighting.

Some of the projects that are underway in the borough at present include:

A phased programme to replace all of the street lighting in Tower Hamlets with high efficiency LED lighting, which could save the council £2.7 million by 2020.

Providing grants to primary and secondary schools in the borough to spend on energy efficiency projects that will save each school an average of £5,400 in fuel costs annually, which can instead be directed into frontline educational services.

Councillor Rachel Blake, Cabinet Member for Planning, Air Quality and Tackling Poverty said: “Getting to grips with our environmental impact has never been more important. Our officers are working hard not only to reduce the council’s own carbon footprint, but also to help our residents and our schools make good decisions on energy efficiency in their homes and buildings.

“An 18 per cent reduction is a great start but we know there is a long way to go. I’m confident we can rise to the challenge.”