Going green will be costly, councillors warned

time:2023-06-02 17:18:26source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:news

Going green will be a tough challenge in the current financial climate, Lincoln's councillors have been warned.

A senior City of Lincoln councillor has admitted hitting its carbon net zero target by 2030 would be difficult due to the poor financial situation.

Councillor Bob Bushell (Labour) faced questions on whether the council was still on track to reach this goal.

Mr Bushell maintained he was confident of the council's success - but warned it would be expensive.

Net zero is the national goal of no longer adding to the amount of carbon emissions by 2050 to prevent the worst-case climate change scenario. Many governments and local authorities are aiming to get there much sooner, but inflation could slow this down.

Councillor Tom Dyer (Conservative) asked whether the council would opt for cheaper services or more environmentally friendly ones, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"Everyone in this room supports the ambition to become net zero," he told a full council meeting.

"How do we balance the desire to do that with the current financial challenges?"

Mr Bushell, Portfolio Holder for Remarkable Place, replied: "It will be a challenge, there is no doubt about it. We all want to become greener than we are, and we will do whatever it takes to achieve it by the date set.

"For example, members wished to move in a cleaner, greener direction with waste services, which will be more expensive.

"It will be difficult, but we will work with government to meet our goals."

The authority has produced an action plan to help it meet the net zero target.

Labour councillors also laid blame for the current financial problems at the feet of the Conservative government.

Councillor Neil Murray (Labour) said inflation had increased dramatically, and "the insecurities of Covid have been replaced by the insecurities of a cost of living crisis", and an economy "crashed by incompetent ministers".

Councillor Hilton Spratt (Conservative) responded: "No government in history has ever contrived to damage their own economy, as you claim."

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