What we can do to reduce carbon emissions

What we're doing

We have developed a Climate change action plan (PDF 780KB / 25 pages).

Our district wide target and data is based on a Small World Consulting Report that was completed for the whole of Cumbria at the start of 2020: Cumbria Carbon Baseline report (PDF 8.2MB / 49 pages)

Our objectives from the action plan are:

  • review transport arrangements, improving travel, parking and roads in the district to move to a greener network
  • encourage all festivals and events to be low carbon
  • support businesses to become low carbon organisation
  • help the tourism industry transition to low carbon
  • encourage cleaner and greener utilities and services
  • help residents to have more energy-efficient homes
  • ensure local planning processes prioritise sustainability and energy efficiency
  • influencing UK wide initiatives
  • working with community groups to encourage wider participation
  • helping to keep the community up to date with changes on the green agenda and staying transparent and contactable

So far, we have:

Working together

We are working with other local authorities, partner agencies and businesses to work towards reducing emissions in South Lakeland. This includes using our services to collaborate with partner organisations and working to influence stakeholders.

We are part of the successful Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership that successfully bid for £2.5 million of National Lottery funding to cut carbon emissions in the county. This ambitious programme will begin in January 2021 and is led by the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership. It will span the public, private and third sectors, including community groups, councils, the NHS, police, national parks, businesses and the farming community, among others.

Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS): Zero Carbon Cumbria programme provides more information.

What you can do

Finding out what your carbon footprint is can be a really good way to think about ways you can start to reduce it. Use the CAfS: resident carbon calculator developed for Cumbrian residents and businesses.

The average South Lakeland Resident consumes more than 12 tonnes of CO2e per year. Travel, household fuel and food and drink are the main emitters.

Here are some suggestions of what changes will be needed and how they can be brought about:

  • reduction in household fuel use. Improving insulation and efficiency within homes can cut emissions and fuel bills: Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) can give advice and training with this
  • electricity decarbonisation. For example, switching to a renewable energy provider, installing a heat pump or solar panels instead of an oil system
  • reduction in carbon intensity of driving. For example switching to an electric or hybrid vehicle. Try to prioritise active travel, and only travel when necessary. Switch your next holiday to a local trip
  • reduction in residents driving. For example by using public transport, car share schemes, cycling, and walking where possible
  • cut waste. For example plan meals to eliminate food waste, use up leftovers, be creative with surplus food. Then use a compost bin/ wormery for any raw food waste left
  • make sustainable food choices. Think about the carbon footprint of the food you eat eg. Buying locally, having less imported meat. Extend this to all consumption including clothes, electronics and toiletries
  • cut in air freight. Buy locally grown/produce where possible to reduce the food miles and carbon footprint of food
  • CAfS sustainable living guide provides more information and advice

Work with your Parish Council

Many communities have declared a ‘Climate Emergency’ yet are struggling to know what to do next. The Greening Campaign provides a toolkit that has been developed and used to provide structure to those next steps for town and parish councils. It is a fun, yet effective way for communities to tackle the often frightening issue of Climate Change whilst following a tested path consisting of seven stepped Phases.

The Greening Campaign is designed so communities are supported both by their Councils, and by each other, and it shares the experience gained by already having worked with over 200 communities to tackle climate change, fuel poverty and help them become more sustainable.

We are subsiding the cost of the first phase so that there is a cost of only £25 to town and parish councils.

You can find out more from The Greening Campaign video.

More details are also available on The Greening Campaign website.

To get started in your area please email us, we can answer any queries you might have and put you in touch with the Greening Campaign.

Climate change and biodiversity funding

The National Lottery Climate Action fund round 2 is currently open for applications to provide support to communities to take action on climate change.