Cornwall Council has pledged to work towards 100 per cent clean energy for Cornwall.

It is part of plans to tackle the climate emergency and secure an environmentally sustainable future.

The council has become a founding member of the Countryside Climate Change Network and the one hundredth signatory to the UK100.

This is a network of local authorities focused on a full move away from fossil fuels to bring environmental, health and economic benefits to communities.

Cllr Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council cabinet member for climate change said: “We are already recognised as a leading local authority on tackling the climate emergency and our climate change action plan is considered a blueprint for regional leadership in addressing the impacts of climate change.

“Becoming part of the Countryside Climate Network will further strengthen our voice when we are standing up for Cornwall and showcasing our achievements in working to secure an environmentally sustainable future for our residents.

"It allows us to work closely with local authorities across the country, national government and policy experts on climate change to make the transition to clean energy in Cornwall a reality.”

Joining the network builds on the Council’s climate emergency declaration in January 2019 and its climate change action plan to help Cornwall become carbon neutral by 2030.

Cornwall is already playing a leading role in clean energy with around 40 per cent of its power coming from renewables, increasing its installed renewable energy capacity from 90 megawatts in 2009 to more than 800 megawatts today.

The council is investing £16m towards additional low carbon projects including Cornwall’s first, smart grid-connected wind turbine at Ventonteague, near Carland Cross, which is set to power the equivalent of around 1,100 homes starting this summer.

Other clean energy programmes include a commitment to using alternatives to fossil fuel heating in all new council-built properties.

As well as protection for the environment and improvements to air quality the commitment could lead to opportunities to develop green industries including the potential for well-paid, high-skilled employment.

Read more: Council sees pandemic as an opportunity to speed up climate change measures

Other Cornwall Council clean energy initiatives include:

  • Investing in the Saints Way, 30km of cycle and walking tracks aimed at promoting active travel, helping to improve air quality and tackle congestion
  • Transforming the council’s fleet, with 25 per cent planned to be transferred to ultra-low emission vehicles in the next 12 months
  • Cornwall’s Local Industrial Strategy support clean growth
  • Council investment enabling wells to be drilled at United Downs to explore Cornwall’s deep geothermal heat resource as well as support for a geothermal scheme at the Eden Project
  • Working with partners such as the Local Enterprise Partnership and Local Nature Partnership to ensure that strategy development in areas such as the Local Industrial Strategy support the principle of clean growth
  • Exploring innovation in floating offshore wind power