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Wiltshire Council tells the British Army to take more exercise.

June 23, 2011 10:37 AM

Wiltshire Council (WC) is failing to achieve its targets on dealing with climate change, and whilst demonstrating an excellent ability to sign up to pledges and commitments on the subject the council hasn't yet realised that action is also required.

A report to WC's 'cabinet' on Tuesday June 22 2010 set out what the council should be doing about climate change.

The council's response perpetuates those qualities, and includes such absurdities as stating that it wants "To encourage healthy and active lifestyles within the Armed Forces ... through the promotion of exercise, sustainable transport and locally grown produce." Conservative councillors will presumably be visiting the barracks to tell the soldiers to exercise more, work out a tank-sharing rota and eat local cabbages. We look forward to the subsequent by-elections.

Wiltshire council emits 59,117 tonnes of CO2 (2008/9 figure) and the bills for transport and energy amount to £14million, so there's plenty of scope for improvement.

Between 2005 and 2007, emissions reduced by 3.9% nationally. In the South West, emissions went down by 5% but in Wiltshire by only 2.5%. Wiltshire is therefore lagging behind the rest of the country in cutting its carbon emissions.

In 2008 Wiltshire & Swindon produced 10% of the SW total for renewable energy - 14 KW. Almost all of this came from landfill gas. It's an anomaly of the system that landfill gas counts towards renewable energy targets, and the amount available is falling, so inevitably Wiltshire is falling well below its 2010 target of 65 to 86 KW installed capacity. The scale of the challenge for renewable energy is huge. The 2010 target was the equivalent of what would be generated by 30 wind turbines or approximately 300,000 individual solar photovoltaic units.