- Meeting of Cabinet, Tuesday, 16th February, 2021 10.00 am (Item 13.)
- View the background to item 13.
The Cabinet received a report on the Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy. The Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy has been developed following the motion at Council on 15 July 2020 regarding climate change. The strategy sets the Council’s proposed approach to addressing climate change and air quality across Buckinghamshire, including targets for emissions reduction from the Council’s direct operations. The report recommended that further targeted engagement be undertaken regarding the delivery and implementation of the strategy.
i) That the Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy be agreed for the purpose of further targeted engagement;
ii) That the further targeted engagement be agreed, with a view to considering the best way in which the strategy can be delivered and implemented; and
iii) That the strategy be reconsidered following the above targeted engagement to determine next steps.
B Chapple, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, introduced the report and informed Members that the Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy had been developed following the motion at Council on 15 July 2020 regarding climate change. The strategy set out a proposed approach to addressing climate change and air quality across Buckinghamshire, including targets for emissions reduction from the Council’s direct operations. The report recommended that the Strategy be agreed for the purpose of further targeted engagement on how it would be delivered and implemented.
The overall strategy for addressing climate change and air quality was based upon the Council’s ability to control or influence different sources of emissions. The degree of control or influence had been reflected in the nature of the actions for an emission source. This influence varied and had been categorised into four levels / approaches, namely Direct Control, Financial / Regulatory Role, Enabling Change, and Inform and Influence. Information on the 4 levels was articulated in the report.
The strategy proposed 60 actions across a range of emission sources. These actions had arranged in sections aligned with the degree of control model:
(a) The Council’s Emissions – covering how we will reduce our direct emissions.
(b) Suppliers and Partners – covering how we will work with Community Boards, schools, suppliers and partner organisations to reduce emissions.
(c) County-wide – covering how we’ll work to reduce emissions from non-Council sources of emissions across Buckinghamshire, such as a from transportation and new developments.
The strategy provided milestone targets to be achieved by 2030 and 2040 on the way to reaching net zero for the Council’s direct emissions no later than 2050. These emissions targets had been calculated using data from the carbon audit and were presented both as reductions compared to 1990, which was the year which the UK’s national reduction targets relate to, as well compared to the 2018/19 financial year used for our recent Carbon Audit. Information on the targets was detailed at Table 1, paragraph 2.6 of the report.
The report stated that the overall pathway to net zero carbon emissions required a faster rate of emission reductions in earlier years (up to 20 and a declining rate towards 2050. With the implementation of the measures identified in the strategy and initiatives highlighted, the Cabinet Member and Officers were confident that the ambitious emission reduction levels could be achieved.
The Cabinet report mentioned a range of options that had been considered in arriving at the proposed actions, e.g. source of the emissions, available technologies / approaches, use of carbon offset credits, and the purchasing of renewable (green) energy. However, the last 2 options were both associated with some uncertainty regarding their effectiveness in reducing carbon emissions. The strategy proposed to review these options to determine the additional carbon benefits that might be achieved through their use, so that a view on their future role in reaching our reduction targets could be taken.
Members commented as follows:
· That schools were very keen to get involved, including with tree planting, but would require funding.
· That information on solar panels and payback periods would be provided to Members.
· That as approximately 50% of the Council’s emissions were due to property, the Accommodation Strategy rationalisation would have an important part to plan in reducing future emissions.
1) That the Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy be agreed for the purpose of further targeted engagement.
2) That further targeted engagement be agreed, with a view to considering the best way in which the strategy can be delivered and implemented.
3) That the strategy be reconsidered following the above targeted engagement to determine the next steps.
- Report for Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy, item 13. PDF 733 KB
- Appendix 1 Climate Change & Air Quality Strategy - Executive Summary, item 13. PDF 199 KB
- Appendix 2 Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy, item 13. PDF 733 KB
- Appendix 3 for Carbon Baseline Audit Report, item 13. PDF 688 KB