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LATEST: Update on KCC zero carbon plan

Friday 23rd July 2021

KENT County Council (KCC) has unveiled its progress on “ambitious” proposals to reduce carbon emissions to zero across the region by 2050.

The scale of interventions required by County Hall over the next 30 years have been described as “significant”.

It includes converting all petrol and diesel vehicles to electric, having energy efficient buildings, switching from gas to renewable and more recycling.

Simon Jones, KCC’s transport boss, said more technological advancements will be needed to realistically achieve the 2050 target.

He said: “Unless and until further technological interventions currently not identifiable become viable, further activities will be needed to inset these residual emissions.”

The UK is seeking to play its part in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in line with the Paris Agreement from 2015 signed by 196 parties.

In 2017, Kent and Medway’s emissions totalled 9,290 kilotons of carbon dioxide.

Around 56% of the emissions came from buildings and 38% from transport, with the remainder from waste disposal, industrial processes and livestock.

Measures have been considered across the county’s 13 districts, including Medway, to achieve the carbon neutral targets.

For example, KCC chiefs have targeted a 65% reduction in car travel in Kent, 100% of vehicles, buses and trains to be converted into electric plus increasing recycling rates and declining use of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas.

In addition, the installation of a water source heat pump to connect to the Maidstone District Heat Network is underway in £1.3million plans.

Solar panels, ground source heat pumps and double glazing will be installed in more than a dozen schools across the 12 districts.

These will be paid from a £20.6million public sector decarbonisation grant from the UK government’s Department of Business, Energy and Industry.

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