SOMERSET County Council has announced a commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by 30% by 2015, and do its best to help the rest of the county follow suit.

A meeting of the full council adopted the Responding to Climate Change document following a major consultation.

It sets out the challenges posed to Somerset by climate change and how the authority will seek to adapt to those changes while reducing its own carbon emissions.

It also includes publishing an annual plan detailing actions and targets and working with others to ensure success.

Council leader Jill Shortland said: "These are significant targets, but Somerset County Council needs to take firm lead on this crucial issue if we are to protect our environment for future generations.

"Climate change has the potential to seriously impact on the lives of all of us, and it is important we all pull together to tackle its cause and impacts.

"Together we can make a difference."

The authority already has a range of award-winning projects and initiatives to reduce emissions and promote renewable energy.

These include the 'Watts On' energy efficiency campaign within County Hall, Biomass heating schemes, the award winning Biofuels project and the successful 'Rising to the Challenge' climate change communications campaign.