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Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Declarations & pledges

Climate emergency declaration

This council declared a climate emergency on July 17, 2019.

Whole area pledge for 2030

“Set up a climate cross party task force to start a dedicated report within the fiscal year with actions that it needs to take to address this emergency including how the wider community including businesses, organisations and individuals can be encouraged to make their own contributions to meeting a goal to make the Borough carbon neutral by 2030.”

Climate documents

Last update: March 16, 2022

Climate Plan Scorecard

This council’s climate plans as of 20th September 2021 were assessed and scored by trained Climate Emergency UK volunteers, as part of the Council Climate Plan Scorecards project.

Show the full Scorecard Read more about the scoring process

SectionTunbridge Wells Borough CouncilAverage district council
Total score50%43%
Section 1 Governance, development and funding
Section 2 Mitigation and adaptation
Section 3 Commitment and integration
Section 4 Community, engagement and communications
Section 5 Measuring and setting emissions targets
Section 6 Co-benefits
Section 7 Diversity and inclusion
Section 8 Education, skills and training
Section 9 Ecological emergency

Emissions data

413.7 ktCO2

Total 2020 emissions

3.5 tCO2

per person

1.2 ktCO2

per km2










Public Sector



Data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy “subset dataset”, representing carbon dioxide emissions within the scope of influence of local authorities.

These councils are the most similar to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in terms of emissions profile, deprivation, rural/urban population density, and geographical nearness. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Buckinghamshire Council89%No2050No
Tandridge District Council89%Yes2030Feb. 13, 2020
Sevenoaks District Council88%Yes2030No
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council87%Yes2030July 9, 2019
Central Bedfordshire Council85%No2030July 19, 2019
East Hertfordshire District Council84%Yes2030No
South Oxfordshire District Council84%Yes2025April 11, 2019
Gloucestershire County Council83%Yes2030May 15, 2019
Hampshire County Council83%No2050June 17, 2019
Wealden District Council83%Yes2050July 24, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in terms of their emissions profile, based on the latest data from the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Hart District Council93%Yes2040Sept. 1, 2019
East Renfrewshire Council92%No2040Aug. 13, 2020
Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead90%No2050June 26, 2019
Buckinghamshire Council90%No2050No
Hertsmere Borough Council90%Yes2050Sept. 18, 2019
Hertfordshire County Council90%Yes2030July 16, 2019
St Albans City and District Council90%No2030July 9, 2019
East Sussex County Council89%Yes2050Oct. 15, 2019
Dacorum Council88%Yes2050July 17, 2019
Midlothian Council87%No2030Dec. 17, 2019
Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council98%Yes2030July 9, 2019
Maidstone Borough Council98%Yes2030April 10, 2019
Rother District Council97%No2030Sept. 16, 2019
East Sussex County Council97%Yes2050Oct. 15, 2019
Wealden District Council97%Yes2050July 24, 2019
Hastings Borough Council96%Yes2030Feb. 13, 2019
Gravesham Borough Council96%No2030June 26, 2019
Sevenoaks District Council96%Yes2030No
Medway Council96%Yes2050April 25, 2019
Dartford Borough Council95%NoNo targetOct. 7, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in terms of the proportion of their population living in high deprivation, medium deprivation, and low deprivation neighbourhoods. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Bromsgrove District Council99%YesNo targetJuly 24, 2019
Warwick District Council98%No2030June 26, 2019
Derbyshire Dales District Council98%Yes2030May 30, 2019
Tandridge District Council98%Yes2030Feb. 13, 2020
Brentwood Borough Council98%No2040No
Central Bedfordshire Council98%No2030July 19, 2019
Aberdeenshire Council97%No2045No
Buckinghamshire Council97%No2050No
Horsham District Council97%Yes2050June 26, 2019
Stratford-on-Avon District Council97%Yes2030July 15, 2019

These councils are the most similar to Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in terms of the proportion of their population living in urban, rural, and highly rural neighbourhoods. Read more about how we calculate this.

Council nameSimilarityHas planCarbon Neutral byDeclared emergency
Braintree District Council99%Yes2030July 22, 2019
West Suffolk Council98%No2030Sept. 19, 2019
East Hampshire District Council97%No2050July 18, 2019
West Lancashire Borough Council96%Yes2030July 17, 2019
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council96%NoNo targetNo
Ards and North Down Borough Council95%NoNo targetFeb. 27, 2019
West Berkshire Council95%No2030July 2, 2019
Oxfordshire County Council95%No2030April 2, 2019
Hart District Council94%Yes2040Sept. 1, 2019
Warwickshire County Council94%Yes2030July 25, 2019


This council’s climate plan has been tagged with the following features:

Powers & Responsibilities

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is a Non-Metropolitan District, with powers over:

Council buildings and staff

Climate actions might include:

  • making council offices more energy efficient
  • incentivising ‘Active Travel’ or public transport use among employees
  • providing carbon literacy training for employees
    Environmental health

    Climate actions might include:

    • reducing industrial emissions through air quality enforcement
    • bringing up insulation and energy efficiency standards through enforcement of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and Decent Homes Standard 2000, for cold and damp conditions in private rental and social housing

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Planning and building control

    Climate actions might include:

    • imposing reasonable requirements that new developments comply with energy efficiency standards and get a proportion of their energy from local, renewable sources (Planning and Energy Act, 2008)
    • incorporating additional energy performance standards into their Local Plan, for new works that require planning permission
    • using Area Action Plans to guide development proposals towards lower carbon emissions or more cycling and walking routes, for example
    • enforcing legislation that requires private rental properties to be of Energy Efficiency Rating E or above (Energy Efficiency Regulations, 2015)
    • funding energy efficiency improvements on existing homes, through initiatives such as Green Homes Grants

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.


    Climate actions might include:

    • setting energy standards above building regulations (Planning and Energy Act, 2008)
    • enabling housing associations to improve the energy efficiency of their housing stock through loans
    • where councils operate their own social housing, prioritising energy efficiency – for example, by requiring Passivhaus standard for newly built schemes

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Spending, procuring, and investing

    Climate actions might include:

    • embedding carbon impact assessment as part of the council’s budgeting and financial accountability process
    • utilising Public Works Loan Board loans or the Business Rates Retention Scheme to invest in emissions-reducing capital projects that otherwise wouldn’t get funded
    • specifying low carbon equipment and practices when procuring for relevant services from suppliers
    • prioritising positive environmental impacts during procurement, through the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012
    Waste collection

    Climate actions might include:

    • establishing ‘Joint Waste Solutions’ with neighbouring councils, to get more value out of waste, recycling, and street cleaning contracts
    • running marketing campaigns to encourage residential recycling, reuse, and waste minimisation

    See more in the Climate Emergency UK checklist.

    Read more about English local authority powers in the UK100 Power Shift report.

    More about this council
    Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s official homepage.
    Tyndall Centre Carbon Budget report
    Check Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s ‘carbon budget’ – their share towards meeting the UK’s Paris agreement targets.
    Friends of the Earth ‘Near You’ tool
    Discover climate groups in this area, data about Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s climate performance, and actions you can take.

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    Cite this page

    mySociety, Climate Emergency UK (2023). CAPE: Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. Available at: [Accessed 24 Mar 2023].


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