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Tackling climate change
Allerdale Borugh Council is committed to doing what we can to tackle climate change by reducing our CO2 emissions and taking a lead in our communities.
On 25 September 2019 the Council agreed a motion which outlined this commitment. This motion agreed by councillors pledged to reduce carbon emissions, both as an organisation and a Local Planning Authority. The motion was tabled and approved at the full council meeting also made the commitment to sign up - and go further than - the UK100 Agreement, a pledge to shifting to 100 per cent clean energy by 2050.
The Council's Overview & Scrutiny committee was also requested to consider, within the next six months, how the council can:
- Work with partners in local sustainability organisations and parish, town and county councils to help to deliver this goal through strategies, plans and shared resources
- Pledge to make Allerdale carbon neutral by 2030 where it does not negatively impact on our communities
- Call on Government to provide the policy changes & funding to make the 2030 deadline possible
- Report to full Council with the actions the council will take to address this emergency, within six months, in time for their recommendations to be funded in the next budget cycle
- Establish an ethical procurement framework to ensure suppliers reduce their carbon footprint.
The scrutiny committee will also consider the following actions:
- Ensure that political and chief officer leadership teams embed this work in all areas of the Council Plan and take responsibility for reducing, as rapidly as possible, the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities, ensuring that any recommendations are fully costed and that the Executive and Scrutiny functions review council activities taking account of production and consumption emissions and produce an action plan within six months, together with budget actions and a measured baseline;
- Request that Scrutiny consider the impact of climate change and the environment when reviewing Council policies and strategies;
- Work with, influence and inspire partners across the district, county and region to help deliver this goal through all relevant strategies, plans and shared resources by developing a series of meetings, events and partner workshops;
- Set up an Allerdale Partnership Climate Change group, drawing on expertise from councillors, residents, young citizens, climate science and solutions experts, businesses, skills providers, Cumbria Action for Sustainability, Sustainable Keswick and Riversmeet and other relevant parties. The group will consider strategies and actions being developed by the council and other partner organisations and develop a borough-wide strategy in line with a target of net zero emissions by 2030, engaging other anchor institutions and SMEs. It will also recommend ways to maximise local benefits of these actions in other sectors such as employment, health, agriculture, transport and the economy;
- Request that the Council and partners take steps to proactively include young people in the process, ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future;
- Ensure that all reports in preparation for the 2020/21 budget cycle and Investment Strategy will take into account the actions the council will take to address this emergency;
- Add the voice of Allerdale Borough Council to the calls on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible;
- In recognition of the seriousness of the financial constraints that the Council faces, and the expectation that both the development and implementation of many measures above are likely to be contingent on securing significant additional extra funding, that the borough’s local MPs be called upon to ensure that central government provides the powers, resources and funding to make this possible, and that Council writes to them to seek their commitments;
- Consider other actions that could be recommended (but are not restricted to): low carbon energy production and storage, providing electric vehicle infrastructure and encouraging the use of electric vehicles within the fleet, workforce and wider community, integrating low carbon technologies into operational assets and projects, increasing the efficiency of buildings, prioritising these measures for housing to address fuel poverty; proactively using our local planning powers to accelerate the delivery of net carbon new developments and communities, coordinating a series of information and training events to raise awareness and share good practice;
- Where needed, officer reports to the Council Executive and Full Council contain impact assessments on climate change that include Carbon Emission Appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce carbon emissions where possible.
What happens now?
The motion asked the cross-party Overview and Scrutiny Committee to investigate how we can both reduce our CO2 emissions and be an advocate and leader in our community. Updates on the progress of their work can be found in the Overview and Scrutiny Committee minutes.