Prime Minister David Cameron has promised “the greenest government ever” following his support for a carbon reduction campaign which will aim to reduce CO2 output across the government’s 250,000 hectare estate.
The commitment to the 10:10 campaign – which seeks to reduce carbon emissions by 10% in 2010 – was one of the first policy announcements made by the government, after taking office earlier this week.
Speaking at the official launch of the government campaign at the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) David Cameron said: “To those who say this is insignificant, remember this: the UK’s public sector has a bigger carbon footprint than the entire waste industry; if we do this, we’ll cut the Government’s energy bills by hundreds of millions of pounds.
We’ve made a good start. Someone pointed out when you mix blue with yellow – you get green.”
In addition to the formal agreement of the government, 158 local authorities have separately signed up to the plan, as well as individuals in the former Labour and Conservative front benches.
The Government estate produces as much CO2 as the whole of Liverpool. If it were able to reduce its output by the 10% required by the 10:10 campaign, it would save 600,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, which is the equivalent of removing 200,000 cars from the roads.
Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne said: “Together we have the opportunity to make this the greenest government in our history. And to put energy security, for too long a second order issue, at the heart of the UK’s national security strategy.
“I intend to make decisions put off for too long to fundamentally change how we supply and use energy in Britain.
The news of the government interest in carbon reduction comes as the coalition pledges support for a “huge increase” in energy from waste through the promotion of anaerobic digestion technology across the UK.
In a statement, the Environmental Services Authority said: “The waste management sector remains the single largest generator of renewable energy in the United Kingdom, producing one third of Britain’s renewable electricity. ESA hopes that the new Government will recognise the strong potential role for energy from waste to meet the UK’s energy policy goals and urges closer coordination of energy and waste policy, and coordination of local waste plans and energy plans.”