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Half of public sector bodies not planning for net zero carbon

29 September 2020

Over half of public sector bodies and quangos across the country (52%) are not planning for net zero carbon by 2050, according to research by ECA.

Overall, just 30 per cent of respondents said they were planning towards net zero carbon by 2050, while a further 18 per cent said they were partially planning for the legally mandated requirement. The remainder either said there were not currently planning for net zero, or did not know if they were.

In addition, over half of respondents (53 per cent) did not know the 2018 carbon footprint of their organisation’s HQ building.

ECA energy advisor Luke Osborne commented:

“These findings show that many public sector bodies have major work to do if they are to meet the Government’s legally binding commitment for net zero carbon by 2050.

“ECA urges all public sector bodies to lead by example and get zero carbon done, by monitoring their energy usage, as well as quickly putting into place plans for the next 30 years.” 

Around half of respondents (47 per cent) said they have a plan in place to generally reduce carbon emissions relating to their built assets, which include offices and other facilities. Around one in five (18 per cent) said they did not have a plan, while the remainder (35 per cent) said they did not know.

Overall, 78 public sector bodies and quangos responded to ECA’s freedom of information request earlier this year. Respondents included 12 executive agencies, 52 quangos, and 14 non-ministerial departments.

Last year, the Government brought in legally binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions to reach net zero by 2050.

previous FOI request conducted by ECA in November 2019 found that 78 per cent of local authorities in England were planning towards net zero by 2050.

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