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EVERYONE in Blaenau Gwent will need to “buy in” to reducing their carbon footprint according to a senior councillor.

At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Executive team, on Wednesday, September 22, councillors were given an update on the council’s decarbonisation plan by managing director, Michelle Morris.

Ms Morris explained that by the end of the financial year (March 31 – 2022) the council would have worked out everything they need to do – and then a “high level action plan” of how they try and achieve a carbon zero target by 2030, will be published.

Ms Morris said: “The headlines from this report is that we’re making good progress there’s a huge energy and enthusiasm from officers right across the council into this agenda.

“It’s important to recognise we’re trying to work out in detail to ensure we hit that 2030 target.”

She pointed out that work had taken place on reducing the need to travel throughout the organisation and moving towards electric vehicles.

The next phase being looked is how council buildings are heated and powered.

This makes up 22 per cent of the council gross carbon emissions and will be “big piece” of work according to Ms Morris.

A Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly was held online in March and 50 residents were asked the question: “What should we do to tackle the climate crisis in a way that is fair and improves living standards for everyone?”

Ms Morris said: “I’m pleased to say we were the first council area in Wales to hold a climate assembly.”

“We’ve had the recommendations back from that assembly and we’re currently working on a response.”

Deputy leader Cllr David Davies said: “This is an extremely important and welcome document because it actually lets us understand the work to be done.”

“I’m sure that Blaenau Gwent will punch above its weight as we always do and the work we have done stands us in good stead to play our critical part in decarbonisation.”

Cllr Davies added: “The climate assembly was an excellent opportunity to engage with the public and I think it’s one of the areas we will have to continue in depth.

“We need the buy in of every individual in our communities and beyond if we are to achieve the goals being set.”

“We need play our part as elected members in encouraging people to do whatever we can in the weeks and months ahead to reduce our carbon footprint.”

He added that he “looked forward” to seeing the high-level action plan.

The committee unanimously approved the report.

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