Addressing climate change
The council has agreed an ambitious plan to address the negative impact on the environment from activities undertaken within the borough by the council and others in the local community.
As part of the plan the council has adopted a 15 year target to become net carbon neutral.
Councillor Alex Coley, who chaired an all-party working group which formulated the council action plan told us “Climate Change is one of the most serious threats facing the planet and affects everyone. It doesn’t know rich or poor, young or old. It doesn’t know political parties or geographic boundaries. That is why this has been a cross party working group of Labour, Liberal Democrat, Conservative and Residents’ Association councillors. We have kept a very positive attitude and approach in our working group, putting politics aside and focusing on an issue which is more important to the future of our borough and the generations that will live, work and study here in years to come”.
Councillor Neil Dallen, Chair of the Environment and Safe Communities Committee, said “The Government has a target for the UK to achieve net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050 – our target is for the council to be carbon neutral by 2035. We’re also going to do more to support local residents, businesses and other public sector organisations in the borough to improve their carbon footprint.
“This is not going to be easy. There will be practical, technical and financial constraints to overcome, but overcome them we must. We now have a much better understanding of the risks and impact of climate change and why decisive action is needed now”
Councillor Coley added “our action plan addresses a wide range of subjects from increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points to boosting biodiversity. The contribution of Extinction Rebellion has been important to the formulation of our action plan and I have been very glad to receive their feedback.
“We’re going to lead by example, by no-longer having single-use plastics within our venues and moving progressively to all-electric Council vehicles. We’re also going to work with others, such as the county council, to help improve public transport including promoting better walking and cycling routes.”
The Climate Action Plan is not a static document and the council is working on understanding and confirming the individual costs within the plan and extent of carbon reduction the actions will achieve. Going forward new technologies and new research will also lead to changes in what the council can do and achieve
The full action plan can be downloaded here