In a significant move, Torfaen Council has appointed a dedicated team to tackle the pressing issue of carbon emissions, a primary contributor to climate change. With the Welsh Government setting ambitious targets for local authorities to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2030 and extend this goal to all communities by 2050, this newly established team is poised to make vital strides in reducing emissions and mitigating climate change effects in the region.
Net carbon zero is where there is a balance between the carbon emitted into the atmosphere and the carbon removed from it. This can be done by reducing emissions and increasing carbon capture through industrial processes and protecting ecosystems like forests, wildflower meadows and peatbogs.
The council is well on its way to reducing and offsetting its own carbon emissions by introducing new electric vehicles, installing renewable energy sources and making buildings, include schools, more energy efficient.
Two new officers have now been appointed to help residents, communities and businesses meet the 2050 net zero target. The posts have received funding from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund for two years.
Gary Meale is Torfaen Council’s new Community Decarbonisation Officer and will support community organisations to assess their carbon footprint, secure funding for zero carbon energy alternatives and improve local biodiversity.
He will also support Torfaen Council’s Climate Ambassador Network to identify local issues and solutions.
Kate Brayford is the council’s new Business Decarbonisation Officer and will be the point of contact for any business looking for funding or non-financial support to reduce and offset emissions.
“This role is about getting people to start thinking about the 2050 target and to start making changes now. I will be working with community organisations but my remit includes helping vulnerable residents to access efficient and cost-effective energy.”
“I’m really excited about this role which involves supporting all Businesses in Torfaen reduce their carbon emissions and working towards our 2050 net zero target.”
Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for Environment, said:
“It’s Net Zero Week which is a great opportunity to highlight the work the council is doing to reduce and offset carbon emissions.
“2050 feels a long way off but it’s important we start thinking about the physical and behavioural changes we all need to make to become net carbon zero and reduce the damage being done to the environment.”