WinACC Report: Winchester District lags behind in reducing carbon emissions.

“Energy consumption has been flat since 2011”. This is the conclusion of the ninth annual report on Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Winchester District by Winchester Action on Climate Change.

The author of WinACC’s reports, Dr Bob Whitmarsh, observes that demand for energy must start to reduce, and rapidly, if there is to be any possibility of meeting the challenging City Council target to be carbon neutral by 2030. Almost all emissions come from cars and goods vehicles, even when motorways are excluded, and from homes, shops and offices.

Concerned that Winchester district’s performance in reducing emissions might be considerably worse than average, Dr Whitmarsh has now dug deeper into the national carbon database. By looking at all 189 districts in England for which data is available for 2017, he found that Winchester’s carbon footprint per person is higher than in 143 other districts.

The District’s emissions figure of almost 7 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person is close to double the average for the 25 best performing districts in England.

This latest WinACC report therefore has no hesitation in asserting that people in Winchester District are dragging their feet in the challenge to cut emissions. It describes the City Council’s goal for the District to become carbon neutral by 2030 as “daunting”, necessitating radical changes in behaviour.

Dr Whitmarsh said: “The report provides clear evidence of the scale of the task that confronts Winchester District. It is abundantly clear that much greater efforts by all will be required to meet the aim of becoming a net-zero carbon society.”