Whitehall on course to beat carbon reduction targets
By Lucy Phillips
18 December 2009
Whitehall is on track to meet their 2010/11 targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, according to the Office for Government Commerce.
New departmental data shows a 10% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions last year, compared to a 1999/2000 baseline, putting the government in a ‘robust position’ to exceed its reduction target of 12.5% by March 2011, the OGC reported. Carbon emissions from buildings occupied by the government are now expected to be cut by 17.8% since the targets were set in 2008.
Other targets also look set to be exceeded. Carbon emissions from government vehicles are now forecast to reduce by 23.7%, up from a target of 15% by 2011, while overall waste is on track to be cut by 18.6%, up from a target of 5% by 2010. Recycling has also increased and water consumption is down, according to the new data.
The government’s chief sustainability officer William Jordan said: ‘We are confident that if departments carry on the implementation of a number of strategies for sustainable operations that government will exceed all of its targets.’
Rebecca Willis, vice chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, which advises government on sustainability issues, welcomed the progress. But she added: ‘The next task for government is to get to grips with its supply chain, and to look at the performance of all government agencies, including its non-departmental public bodies.’
The targets are part of the government’s sustainability plan and new ones are to be decided on next year.