The climate crisis is the challenge of our lifetime. As the science around global heating has become clearer, the urgency with which we need to act has also increased.
The Duchy of Cornwall has made a commitment to reach net zero across its varied and diverse portfolio by the early 2030s. On the basis of its own operations, the Duchy has been net zero since 2006. However, when considering our wider footprint and that of our value chain, the challenge of attaining net zero becomes much greater. Our commitment can only be met if we work positively in partnership with our tenants and suppliers.
We have developed a Net Zero Carbon Programme, with plans established to reduce emissions and increase sequestration across the estate. This is a significant programme, and will succeed because everyone across the Duchy will be supported in playing their part.
For each of the Duchy’s asset types, we have set short-term emissions reduction goals for 2025 and 2028 on the pathway to net zero by the early 2030s. Our first Net Zero Carbon Report is published in 2022 available here, and will we publish further reports on our progress against those goals.
The Duchy’s farmed estate is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing emissions in agriculture is very difficult, but there is significant scope for reducing emissions and increasing the amount of carbon sequestered in the soil and nature on farms. Restoring degraded peatland on Dartmoor and Bodmin Moor will reduce emissions associated with past drainage and damage, while also bringing about wider benefits to nature, flood management and water supply.
Our ambition for net zero developments calls for more innovation in construction materials and methods, through the occupation and eventually to their end of life far into the future. Other building assets, houses, workshops and commercial property, will require considerable effort in engaging tenants and potentially refurbishing the fabric of the buildings.
Across all the Duchy’s assets, including financial investments and the marine estate, and activities, we will integrate greenhouse gases into our thinking. We are committed to providing our staff with the knowledge and support to deliver this goal, for example through Carbon Literacy training. By taking a holistic view and supporting staff, tenants and suppliers in this task, we will achieve our vision of sustainable stewardship, for communities, enterprise and nature.