The Council has an adopted Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan which is refreshed annually with new commitments of what will be achieved that year.
In the summer of 2020 the Council changed its net zero commitment from 2050 to 2040 (with interim targets for 2026 and 2030) and we are absolutely committed to getting to net zero by that date. We want to go faster and as we find ways to overcome the obstacles we will update our commitment.
The Council’s biggest emitter of CO2 by far is our recycling and waste fleet, which is a problem that cannot be immediately overcome – for now, it is holding back our ability to get to net zero faster than 2040. There are currently no suitable green fleet vehicles available on the market that can cope well with a rural area, and we also need to consider the embedded carbon in the existing fleet – to discard the existing fleet before the end of its life would be more damaging in terms of CO2. But we are working on it.
In year 2, here are some of the actions in our plan:
- making £1m available for energy efficiency measures in our own buildings and in low-income household homes
- planting more trees on our own land, including a new hedge-based maze
- creating 26 new (or improved) orchards for the future, by offering free fruit trees to schools, community groups and parish councils
- investigating installation of our own renewable energy infrastructure
You can read more about our commitments and activities on our Climate Change web pages here.