The Council and democracy Climate Change Action Plan - Progress Update Q1, Q2 and Q3 Apr - Dec 2020

Carbon emissions

To keep within budget for the full year, we need to reduce the Council's emissions by 1,204 tonnes compared to last year; this can be referred to as an annual savings target.

1,204 tonnes CO₂ – Annual Savings Target 2020-21
1,031 tonnes CO₂ – Annual Savings Implemented

Alongside the savings emanating from these proactive measures, additional savings will be delivered by the decarbonisation of the national grid and, more significantly, by the changes in Council operations brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. These impacts can already be seen in the figures. The full impact of these changes will be calculated at year end.

Reduction in emissions from previous year:

  • Apr - Sep 2020/21 = 25.8%
  • Apr - Sep 2019/20 = 13.2%
  • Apr - Sep 2018/19 = 21.2%

The Council's emissions are 25.8% lower than the same period in the previous year. The target is to reduce emissions by 13% each year.

Breakdown of direct emissions:

The figures used are from 2019-20 to show a 'normal' position, unaffected by Covid-19. It should be noted that analysis of emissions to date in 2020-21 shows minimal change to the distribution of emissions compared to these figures.

% of emissions 2019-20

  • Buildings: 75%
  • Street lights 11%
  • Waste fleet 10%
  • Operational fleet 2%
  • Business travel 2%

Buildings are the most significant contributor of direct emissions, closely followed by streetlights and our waste fleet - all of which have been targetted for proactive change to reduce our energy consumption and carbon footprint. More detail is included in the workstream report pages.

The following summaries address each of these items separately, showing a quarter-by-quarter view of emissions going back six quarters to April 2019, which shows both seasonal differences and the overall trend.

Some figures for Q1 2020-21 have been revised in Q2 as accurate billing has become available and are marked as (r) 'revised.' Some figures for Q2 are best estimates based on available data at the time of reporting and are marked as (p) 'provisional.' All figures will be finalised after year-end when a full 12 year of bills becomes available. Figures included in the summaries are 'Tonnes of CO2.'

Summary #1: Council buildings

Emissions from energy use in Council buildings have reduced this year compared to the same period last year; this has been driven by the installation of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy generation capacity, and further affected by the decarbonisation of the national grid and changes to building use resulting from Covid-19.

  • Q1 2019-20 = 5,354 / Q2 2019-20 = 4,552
  • Q1 2020-21 = 3,652 (r) / Q2 2021-21 = 3,607(p)

Summary #2: Streetlights

Emissions from streetlights have been reduced by the large-scale retrofitting of LEDs. Q1 emissions are 44% lower than last year and two quarter emissions are 16% lower, showing the significant impact of the Council's investment in this LED programme.

  • Q1 2019-20 = 824 / Q2 2019-20 = 793
  • Q1 2020-21 = 458 (r) / Q2 2020-21 = 666 (p)

Summary #3: Waste collection fleet

Emissions from the waste fleet have remained relatively consistent but will reduce in the coming quarters as half the fleet switches to electric vehicles.

  • Q1 2019-20 = 781 / Q2 2019-20 = 782
  • Q1 2020-21 = 736 / Q2 2020-21 = 771

Summary #4: MCC vehicle fleet

Emissions from the Council’s operational fleet have reduced due to switching to electric vehicles. Q1 emissions are 33% lower than last year and Q2 emissions 18% below the same period the year before.

  • Q1 2019-20 = 227 / Q2 2019-20 = 211
  • Q1 2020-21 = 153 / Q2 2020-21 = 172

Summary #5: MCC staff travel

Emissions from business travel by Council Officers and Elected Members has reduced significantly this year, largely due to Covid-19 changing the way we work with, for example, large shifts to video conferencing. Q1 emissions are 70& lower than last year and Q2 emissions are 64% below the same period the year before. Within this, car miles have reduced 60% and 53% for Q1 and Q2 respectively, when compared to the same period last year. Covid-19 has also changed the Council's use of other forms of transport this year, with rail travel falling by over 95% in both quarters, and air travel reducing by 100% in Q1 and 91% in Q2.

  • Q1 2019-20 = 211 / Q2 2019-20 = 201
  • Q1 2020-21 = 64 (r) / Q2 2020-21 = 72 (p)


Collectively the Council's emissions reflect these downward trends, although it is fully expected that figures for Q3 and Q4 will show a relative increase due to energy demands being higher in winter. Q1 emission totals are 32% lower than last year and Q2 19% below the same period in the year before.

  • Q1 2019-20 = 7,396 / Q22019-20 = 6,538
  • Q1 2020-21 = 5,057 (r) / Q2 2020-21 = 5,289 (p)


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