Climate change - the challenge we’re facing
We declared a climate emergency in February 2020, recognising the need to take urgent action to reduce or halt climate change, to avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage.
This Climate Change Action Plan explains how we will cut our environmental impact to become a carbon neutral council by 2030.
What if we all don’t do our bit?
Failing to take action to address climate change is simply not an option and could lead to:
- More severe weather, including more frequent heat waves and increased risk of more frequent and heavier rain and snowfall, which could lead to flooding or wildfires and droughts.
- Harmful effects on our health, with smoke inhalation and air pollution causing significant health risks.
- Harm to our plants and animals.
What have we already done?
- Reports for our committee meetings now include climate change implications.
- Our business continuity and emergency plans are robust, with clear references to climate change.
- We’ve started working on how we can include net zero considerations in our new housing developments.
- We’ve also switched to a green electricity tariff for our properties.
What we’re focusing on now
1. Improving our performance on carbon emissions by:
- Using net zero carbon energy across all Council-owned buildings.
- Moving to carbon net-zero buildings in the longer term.
- Ensuring all Council-owned vehicles are zero carbon by 2030.
- Driving significant carbon reductions in our work with suppliers and partners.
2. Improving transport and air quality across the district by:
- Creating well connected communities, close to high quality places and spaces, reducing the need for private vehicles.
- Making it easy for residents and visitors to shift from private vehicles to public and active transport, like walking and cycling.
- Creating environments which encourage partners and residents to use zero omission vehicles for journeys which can’t be made on foot, by bicycle or public transport.
3. Generating our own energy, by:
- Expanding capacity for energy generation across the district, with a focus on solar installations which convert sunlight into electrical energy.
- Developing smart energy systems which focus on providing low carbon and low cost energy to residents and businesses.
4. Reducing carbon emissions through our housing and planning functions, by:
- Making our Council-owned homes meet demanding energy efficiency standards.
- Reviewing and updating our planning policies so they deliver low carbon, energy efficient new developments.
5. Encouraging residents to deal with their waste in a more environmentally friendly way, by helping them:
- Access innovative and easy to use guidance on how to reduce waste, especially food waste.
- Think more sustainably in the way they make purchases in future.
- Increase the amount they recycle and reuse.
- Mowing open spaces less often to encourage biodiversity.
- Using peat free compost or soil in all landscaping and horticulture.