'Ultra-low' emissions zones among council plans to hit net zero by 2030

Nigel Lloyd, Liberal Democrat candidate for North Walsham West in the 2019 North Norfolk District Co

Nigel Lloyd, Liberal Democrat candidate for North Walsham West in the 2019 North Norfolk District Council election. Picture: SUPPLIED BY THE CANDIDATE - Credit: Archant

People are being encouraged to grow their own food, install water butts and use local businesses in a push to get north Norfolk to 'net zero' by 2030.

North Norfolk District Council is also considering establishing pollution free or 'ultra-low' emission zones, rewilding more areas and working with farmers to encourage more sustainable practices as part of its newly-published Net Zero 2030 action plan.

Nigel Lloyd, environment portfolio holder, said the plan meant the council was acting as a "local leader" on climate change. 

He said: "I recognise that we have set ourselves an ambitious target and there will be challenges along the way.

"I encourage residents to critically review their own carbon emissions and act to reduce them."

Under the plan six aspects of the environment will be tackled in different ways. These are: land, soil and sub-surface, habitats and species, freshwater, coast and marine and atmosphere.

The plan also emphasises the idea that everyone can make a difference. It puts forward suggestions for businesses including starting a fleet of electric vehicles for employees. 

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Mr Lloyd said: "My message is that every little helps and if everyone makes small changes to their carbon footprint, these will add up to significant reductions.

"We can all contribute. With our sea levels rising and over 40 miles of coast in our district, it is important that we act now.”

Figures show that emissions in north Norfolk have decreased from around 8.9 tonnes of CO2 per resident in 2005, to 5.8 tonnes in 2019 - a drop of over a third. 

According to data from the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory, transport was the biggest emitter in north Norfolk from 2005 to 2019, responsible for 218kt (kilo tonnes) of CO2.

This was followed by domestic use (175kt), industry (109kt), Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry - including agriculture (56kt), commercial use (41kt) and the public sector (10kt).

The action plan goes onto say: "Advances in electric vehicles and decarbonisation of heavier transport will be key to reducing emissions in the district.

"Creating awareness of the need to replace heating systems, especially in areas off the gas grid where oil and high-carbon fossil fuels are extensively used, will also be key to local decarbonisation."