Harlow Council's carbon emissions have been reduced by 692 tonnes in the last year.

The figures, published by the council, show between April 2019 and March 2020 t the council produced 1,659 tonnes of CO2e from its buildings and operations.

This is a 38.55 per cent reduction against a baseline of 2,700 tonnes that was set in 2016 and down from the 2,351 tonnes produced between April 2018 and March 2019.

The council had set a target to reduce its emissions by 25 per cent by 2021.

The news follows the council's declaration of a climate emergency last summer.

A council spokesperson said: "The reduction in the council’s carbon footprint is mainly because of an increase in the amount of electricity used by the council coming from renewable energy sources. Electricity emissions from council buildings have fallen to zero thanks to the purchase of renewable energy. Electricity supplied to all council buildings will continue to be 100 per cent renewable for 2020 to 2021.

"Vehicle emissions from Veolia, who empty bins on behalf of the council, have decreased nearly 30 per cent from last year. This is due to investment in new vehicles as part of the new waste contract. Emissions from business travel by council staff have also decreased by 20 per cent and is expected to fall further this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The council continues to work on other climate emergency pledges and earlier this year broke its target of planting 1,000 trees in a year by planting over 5,000 trees. At the end of October 2019 the council had also eliminated the use of single-use plastic and it did this four months ahead of its target."

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