That the Cabinet:
a) approves the ‘Core Principles for Action’ document (Appendix A) to report PES/390 which underpins the Climate Emergency Action Plan.
b) approves the Climate Emergency Action Plan delivery programme for 2022/23 (Appendix B) to report PES/390 , to enable the council to start delivery of the carbon reduction measures identified.
c) approves in principle the overall Climate Emergency Action Plan to 2030 (Appendix B) to report PES/390 to enable the Council to reduce the carbon emissions generated by its activities by at least 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050, subject to consideration next year of a full funding plan being developed for continued delivery from 2023/24.
Reasons for the Recommendations
a) In July 2019, Full Council declared a Climate Emergency and made a commitment to reduce the council’s carbon emissions by at least 45% by 2030 and to zero by 2050.
b) The Council believes that all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown; and has committed to aim for zero carbon emissions as soon as possible and, in doing so, to show leadership and encourage local residents, stakeholders and businesses to do the same.
c) The Council has recognised that as a society we are now beyond taking small measures while generally carrying on with ‘business as usual’. Deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are needed quickly to stabilise rising temperatures alongside rethinking agriculture and land use to restore ecosystems. This will impact on all aspects of our lives.
d) Decisions made across national, regional and local authorities now will determine whether or not we are subject to catastrophic climate and ecological impacts or can transition to a stable and sustainable world. Although these decisions have to be taken at all levels of society, they need to be taken significantly by local authorities like the council, which has a critical lead role to play in driving down carbon emissions at the local level.
e) The Climate Emergency Action Plan outlines the actions the Council needs to set in motion now in order to deliver on this commitment.