Environment Agency sets net zero emissions aim

The Environment Agency has set itself the aim of becoming a net zero organisation by 2030.

The government department, which works to protect and improve the environment, says that the move will ensure that its own activities and its supply chain are taking as much carbon out of the atmosphere as it is putting into it.

Meeting this goal, which is based on the internationally-recognised Science Based Target Initiative methodology, would see the Environment Agency go beyond what was set out in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. It will seek to meet the goal by reducing the emissions of its own activities and supply chain by 45 per cent, with the remaining emissions addressed through tree planting or other measures.

The Environment Agency is also set to explore whether it could become an absolute zero organisation – eliminating all carbon emissions from its own activities and its supply chain - by 2050.

The department had achieved a 48 per cent reduction in operational carbon emissions compared with 2006/7 – going further and faster than its March 2020 target of a 45 per cent reduction.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency, said: “Tackling the climate emergency is the biggest challenge facing humankind, and every day our organisation has to deal with its effects. Alongside working with communities to plan and adapt for the unavoidable impacts of climate change, we must also take action as an organisation to reduce our own contribution to this existential threat. We are under no illusion about the scale of the challenge that we have set ourselves, but action is needed if we are to preserve our planet for future generations.”