New government plans to lead from the front on CO2

David Cameron’s committed his government to cut its own carbon emissions by 10% in the next year. The new Prime Minister has set the most ambitious target ever for Whitehall […]

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By Sumit Bose

David Cameron’s committed his government to cut its own carbon emissions by 10% in the next year.

The new Prime Minister has set the most ambitious target ever for Whitehall and its staff in a bid to ensure he is seen as leading from the front when it comes to green issues. Apart from the commitment to cut central government’s carbon footprint he’s also said each department will have to publish their energy use online and in real time so we can all see what they are doing.

Chris Huhne the new Energy Secretary will head up a steering group to make sure all parts of government stick to their targets and the Prime Minister has said he’ll be writing to all his colleagues to reaffirm how important this is. Speaking to DECC staff Mr Cameron said, “I don’t want to hear warm words about the environment. I want to see real action. I want this to be the greenest government ever. In fact, we’ve made a good start. Someone pointed out when you mix blue with yellow – you get green.”

In 2008/2009 central government, which has a staggering 8,000 buildings in its portfolio, was responsible for 1.45m tonnes of carbon emissions, about 7% of total public sector emissions. The annual energy spend was £195m.