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Rural areas must play a significant role in reaching net-zero

Richard Clewer, chair of the Countryside Climate Network and leader of Wiltshire Council, argues in the Environmental Journal this week that the UK will “never reach net-zero unless rural areas play a significant role in cutting carbon emissions”

He points to the results of a new report, Rural Net Zero, which reveals that those who live in rural areas produce far more carbon emissions than someone who lives in a city, which is in part due to the lack of viable alternatives to cars in rural areas.

The report also outlines how urban areas have benefited from lots of public investment in low carbon technology and infrastructure while the countryside has been “left behind”.

It is easier to retrofit lots of homes in a city than lots of houses which are miles apart in villages and hamlets.

He concludes that there are lots of challenges here for national government, which need to help local councils improve rural infrastructure in the next ten years to meet ambitions not only to create a modern countryside but also to reach net-zero.

Better transport and connectivity, renewable energy and insulated housing will have huge side benefits for the wider population too including improving public health, easier access to services, and more biodiversity.

Full article:

Environmental Journal - Rural areas must play a significant role in reaching net-zero

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