Carbon Emissions

Logo - County Durham Climate Change Logo
On 20 February 2019, Durham County Council declared a climate emergency and pledged to:

  • immediately adopt a new target of 80% by 2030 making significant progress towards making the county and ourselves carbon neutral, taking into account both production and consumption emissions
  • investigate what further actions are necessary to make the county completely carbon neutral by 2050 and pledge to achieve this.

Meeting these two Climate Emergency Targets is the overarching aim of all of the Council’s work on carbon reduction within the authority and across the county.

Further information is available on the Climate- County Durham website and the Durham County Council website on the Climate Change page.

A Climate Emergency Response Plan was presented to Council on 17 July 2019 and is available to download at County Council agenda and minutes 17 July 2019 (item 9).

A public consultation was carried out on this plan and the results have shaped our further actions, as shown in the Climate Emergency Action Plan below.

Climate Emergency Action Plan

To ensure that we meet our goals we have drawn up two fully costed action plans, one for the council’s target and one for the countywide target.

Each plan is written in detail for the first two years and presents an outline of what will be required for the rest of the process and will be updated on an ongoing basis. An updated version of the Response Plan will be made public every two years, including two new action plans for the next two years of work toward achieving our two goals.

The Response Plan was submitted to and approved by Cabinet on 12 February 2020, and can be downloaded at Cabinet agenda and minutes 12 February 2020 (item 7).

The following graphs and data show how far we’ve come as an authority and as a county in our efforts to reduce our contribution to the Global Climate Crisis.

County Durham CO2e Emissions

The following graph shows the annual carbon footprint of County Durham from the baseline year of 1990, including the most recent data sets up to 2018. These figures are provided by the Government’s department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, BEIS. The amounts given are in kilo-tonnes of carbon dioxide, ktCO2. The figures for 2019 show a 54% reduction from 1990 figures.

Durham County Council Emissions

The following graph shows the annual carbon footprint of Durham County Council from the baseline year of 2008/09 to the most recent year, 2020/21. These years run from April to March, in line with our financial year. The figures are calculated by the council’s Low Carbon Economy Team using actual invoice data, consumption records, and other information such as business mileage claims. The amounts are shown in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, tCO2e. In 2020/21 a reduction of 58% from 2008/09 levels was achieved.

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