Climate highlights of 2021

2021 proved a strange year, in and out of Covid restrictions and with more than its fair share of challenges. But we continued to work towards a zero carbon Luton. Here are a handful of highlights from last year, and here’s to more like this in 2022.

  • The blocks of flats in Marsh Farm are a prominent landmark in the town, and were visibly transformed as a multi-million pound cladding project was completed. The insulation will improve comfort for residents while cutting heating costs and lowering carbon emissions.
  • Perhaps you’ve seen this on a street near you, but did you know that over 6,000 street lights were switched to LED bulbs? The £2.25 million programme is saving money, energy and carbon across the town every night.
  • Vauxhall announced that their entire range will be electric by 2028, making Luton’s Vauxhall plant part of the transition to clean transport. “The future of the automotive industry is electric” said managing director Paul Wilcox. “We are on a journey to reinvent Vauxhall and heading towards a net zero CO2 future.”
  • Local campaigners and residents, including Extinction Rebellion Luton, worked together to successfully oppose plans for a water bottling plant at Butterfield Green.
  • Bedfordshire University was certified platinum by EcoCampus, and ranked 8th out of 154 in People & Planet’s ranking of sustainable universities.
  • After switching to 100% renewable energy and installing new heating, Luton Airport was awarded level 3 in the global Airport Carbon Accreditation scheme – a step towards the goal of carbon neutral ground operations by 2026.
  • Chapel Farm, just outside Luton, is home to a new energy storage facility from Harmony Energy. 49.5 megawatts of Tesla batteries will help to balance the electricity grid and manage increasing amounts of renewable energy in the area.
  • Also outside Luton, but close enough that we’re going to claim it – Whipsnade Zoo are planning a huge solar array in the shape of a lion.

Published by Jeremy Williams

Jeremy is an author and activist based in Luton. He writes serious books for adults, less serious books for children. His blog, The Earthbound Report, has been recognised as the best green blog in the UK by Vuelio and the UK Blog Awards.

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