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THE action plan on making Ceredigion a net zero carbon local authority by 2030 has been given the final stamp of approval.

Following its approval by cabinet on Tuesday, June 15 all Ceredigion county councillors were given the chance to discuss the authority’s “first step” towards meeting its pledge to reduce emissions and achieve net zero carbon in the next decade.

As many other local authorities have done, Ceredigion councillors have recognised the need for action to tackle the global climate emergency.

The action plan aims to “support the implementation of actions and measures to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to climate change” with short, medium and long term steps outlined.

Questions about finance were raised at Thursday’s full council (June 17) with the amount already saved – around £5million – by carbon reduction initiatives already implemented by the authority highlighted.

Further answers on costings and whether Welsh Government funding will be made available will be discussed in future, members were told.

Cllr Alun Williams, cabinet member and chair of the Carbon Management Panel, added: “Our whole society – our whole global civilisation – is in unknown territory on this issue. Absolutely no-one has all the answers yet. Because the human race hasn’t been here before.

“But if we don’t face up to the challenge, and push at the boundaries of human knowledge and ingenuity to solve it, there’s an inescapable reality that will catch up with us, our children and our grandchildren.

“And it’s the responsibility of us in local government to play our part. I’m very grateful to all those in the council who have worked on this plan. It’s been a team effort by many council departments, because this agenda requires the whole council to work together.”

A ‘carbon calculator’ is awaited from Welsh Government and once a carbon footprint has been established, “projects and schemes that will contribute to emission reduction will need to be identified and carbon offsetting can also be considered,” a report adds.

Including a focus on combating fluvial flooding – caused by excessive rain – as well as coastal flooding was highlighted at cabinet and ensuring that safe zones in a number of towns introduced during the pandemic were listed as temporary, with public consultation required to make them permanent.

Council leader Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn added: “Over the past ten years, our carbon footprint has reduced by more than 40 per cent and Ceredigion is leading the way in Wales as operational carbon emissions have reduced 27 per cent in the county over the last five years. This is an excellent step in the right direction as we endeavour to protect our natural environment.”

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