What is climate change and what causes it?
Over the years, scientists have developed an understanding of the earth’s climate system. We now know that global warming is the result of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by human activity.
There is more information about the impacts of climate change on the Committee on Climate Change's (CCC) website.
The CCC advises the government on emissions targets. They report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
How is Suffolk tackling climate change?
The Suffolk Climate Change Partnership (SCCP) consists of:
- Suffolk County Council
- West Suffolk
- East Suffolk
- Ipswich Borough Council
- Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council
- the Environment Agency
They work with other local organisations such as Groundwork Suffolk and the University of Suffolk.
The partners have a shared interest in supporting Suffolk’s communities, businesses and residents to reduce carbon emissions.
In 2019, the SCCP's local authority members declared a ‘climate emergency’. They are committed to working together and aim to make Suffolk carbon neutral by 2030.
How are we engaging with the challenge at Babergh and Mid Suffolk?
In 2019, following our climate emergency declarations, we set up an Environment and Climate Change Task Force to look at the climate challenge the districts face.
Following engagement with environmental experts, the task force presented their recommendations to cabinets in July 2020.
The proposals were unanimously approved, forming the two councils' first Carbon Reduction Management Plan.
A task force subcommittee then looked at biodiversity in the districts. Their recommendations were presented to cabinets in November 2020.
This formed our Biodiversity Action Plan, which sets out how we aim to protect and strengthen plant life and local wildlife in the district.
We continue to ensure any initiatives will have a positive environmental impact. Our decisions remain open to appropriate debate and public scrutiny. This is to ensure steps we take are effective and efficient for our taxpayers and communities.
What have we achieved already?
Our annual climate change and biodiversity reports provide an outline of what we have achieved so far.
What schemes are already in place to tackle climate related issues?
We already support lots of schemes to tackle this global issue at a local level. They include:
Green Homes Grant
If you’re a homeowner or residential landlord you can apply for a Green Homes Grant voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements to your home.
Warm Homes Fund
National Grid and Affordable Warmth Solutions launched a £150m Warm Homes Fund to support local authorities in helping fuel poor households.
Suffolk's councils were awarded funding for the next 3 years to install first-time central heating systems in fuel poor households.
The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) requires large energy companies to improve the energy efficiency of domestic homes, by discounting the cost of improvement works. This applies to some households who are struggling to pay their energy bills and are in fuel poverty.
Suffolk’s councils have jointly published criteria in a Statement of Intent, that enables them to identify households that would benefit. Improvements are often fully funded when the household meets certain criteria and is at risk of fuel poverty.
Find more resources about making energy efficiency improvements to your home via Green Suffolk's website.
Suffolk Carbon Charter
The Suffolk Carbon Charter is an award that recognises carbon reduction measures taken by Suffolk's small and medium businesses.
Visit the Suffolk Recycles website to find out about reducing, reusing and recycling in Suffolk.
All kerbside waste that can't be recycled goes to Suffolk's energy-from-waste facility. It powers 30,000 homes.
Improved refuse collections
In 2019 the Councils rerouted their waste collection rounds. This was to ensure that our collection service is efficient and sustainable.
Our collections rounds are more fuel efficient, which reduces our impact on the environment.
Tree for Life
To promote the community benefits of planting trees, the Councils offer families a tree to mark the arrival of every new child.
Paperless billing on bills
We offer residents and businesses the ability to go paperless with their Council Tax and Business Rates bills.
Greenways Countryside Project
Greenways Countryside Project volunteers help to protect and enhance our countryside. They work from an area of about 100 square kilometres in and around Ipswich.
How can I help?
Making simple changes to the food you eat, how your reduce your waste, and the way you travel can reduce your carbon footprint.
- Get involved with FoodSavvy Suffolk
- Use Suffolk's Carbon Footprint calculator
- Plan your journeys
- Help Suffolk's Wildlife
- Find your nearest reusable water bottle refill station
- Discover volunteering opportunities in your area
- Find out more about green communities already in Suffolk
How can I share my ideas or get support for my community to tackle the climate change challenge?
We are keen to hear your ideas, suggestions and offers of help.