Action on climate and nature
What we are doing to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies
The climate and ecological crises are the greatest challenges facing our society. To acknowledge this and take action, in February 2019, we joined a growing number of local authorities that have declared a climate emergency; and in February 2021 we declared an ecological emergency.
Our climate action targets are to:
- become carbon neutral within our own operations by 2025
- be a carbon neutral district by 2030
Carbon neutral, or ‘net zero carbon’, means there is a balance between the carbon emissions produced by an entity and the amount removed from the atmosphere. Offsetting might be used to achieve this in some circumstances.
Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee
Our Climate and Ecological Emergencies Advisory Committee (CEEAC) first met in September 2019. This politically balanced committee is made up of 12 councillors. Its role is to advise the Cabinet on matters relating to the climate and ecological crises, and to recommend actions, policies and practices to reduce damage to the environment.
Climate change is the change in average conditions, such as temperature or rainfall, over a long period of time. With increases in the Earth’s temperature since the industrial revolution, our weather and biodiversity have been impacted.
Our Corporate Plan prioritises climate and ecological work through the plan’s themes of ‘protect and restore our natural world’ and ‘action on climate emergency’, highlighting that the climate and ecological emergencies are important areas of work for the council. We are also developing a climate action plan which will set out how we will achieve our carbon neutral targets in our own operations and across the district.
In addition to strategy development, we have lobbied government to:
- Set clear standards through building regulations for zero carbon new buildings
- Facilitate the urgent retrofit of existing homes to ensure we can meet energy targets
- Provide local government with increased support for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including on-street charging
- Review and simplify the regulatory framework to allow councils to maximise the use of their assets for electricity generation and battery storage.
In addition, our Corporate Plan includes the specific themes; ‘protect and restore our natural world’ and ‘action on climate emergency’. We are developing our Climate Action Plan – watch this space.