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Does Ipswich deserve to be named the region's greenest town?

PUBLISHED: 16:30 07 August 2019

Heavy traffic - one of the biggest polluters - along Grafton Way, Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Heavy traffic - one of the biggest polluters - along Grafton Way, Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Borough Council has been named the greenest authority in the east of England, according to government statistics.

Ipswich Borough Council ranks as the greenest authority in the east of England, according to government figures Picture: ARCHANTIpswich Borough Council ranks as the greenest authority in the east of England, according to government figures Picture: ARCHANT

By measuring the carbon dioxide emissions of domestic, commercial and industrial properties across the borough, research shows the authority produces 3.02 tonnes of the greenhouse gas per capita every year.

That sees the county town ranked as the 23rd lowest producer of CO2 per capita in the UK - ranking 53 places higher than Norwich and a staggering 126 places higher than Colchester.

The news comes as Ipswich Borough Council became one of many local authorities in the country to declare a climate emergency, with Suffolk County Council having made the move in March this year.

A contributor to the "greenhouse effect", the gas increases the amount of thermal energy trapped in the earth's atmosphere - leading to a rise in temperature, known as global warming.

The council has committed to reduce emissions to zero by 2030, while nationally, the government has set a deadline of 2050.

They aim to do so by continuing advances made in the last 10 years, including the installation of solar panels and LED lighting at multiple sites, as well as introducing an electric fleet of staff cars.

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MORE: What is the council doing to tackle the climate emergency?

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said: "We are pleased to see the result of the work we have, and are, doing to reduce our carbon emissions.

"The effort we have put in over the last ten years has had an impact but there is still lots to do and we will continue to do what we can."

Although campaigning for the reduction in carbon emissions, the Ipswich branch of Extinction Rebellion said the council should be doing more.

A spokesman for the group said: "There is nothing special that Ipswich is doing in calling a climate emergency.

"There is a lot more that councils need to do - and in Ipswich a big problem is nitrous oxide emissions from traffic.

"The council needs to reduce traffic in the town, although I think they won't make changes as they wouldn't be 'popular' with people.

"But still - rather than focusing on the problems, we should look forward to a brighter, greener future where we can have happier and healthier lives."

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