Decision Maker: Full Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
The Report and associated Action Plan - Route
to Carbon Neutral, sets out the Councils carbon footprint and
identifies the actions derived from Council operations and
activities to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Key Decision identified as Telford & Wrekin Council Becoming Carbon Neutral Action Plan in the Notice of Key Decisions published on 22nd January 2020.
Councillor H Rhodes, Cabinet Member: Parks, Green Spaces & the Natural Environment, presented the report of the Programme Executive Lead.
In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report which advised that global warming must be limited to 1.5oC. Their review of over 6,000 sources of evidence found that, with a rise of 1.5oC, there would be risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth. It warned that there were have only twelve years left within which to take serious action to avert this crisis and avoid the worst impacts.
Telford and its communities had been at the forefront of technological innovation from the first industrial revolution through to the fourth which was seeing rapid changes in clean technology, sustainable materials, transport, and energy storage and generation pioneered in the Borough.
For decades Telford had carried the title Forest City – reflecting the wealth of greenspaces, landscape, forest and woodland which characterised the area and had been afforded protection and enhancement through Council policy and land management. The commitment to this was re-emphasised in January 2020 with the review of the Local Plan to be focussed on establishing a ‘forest community’ with climate change action central to the review.
The Council recognised the adverse impact that Climate Change was having, both globally and locally, and the important role that local authorities could play in addressing this issue. On 25 July 2019, the Council had approved a motion to declare a Climate Emergency making the following key commitments:
o Council operations and activities to be carbon neutral by 2030;
o Collaborate and engage with residents, partners and businesses in Telford & Wrekin and at a regional and national level to achieve aspirations for the borough to be carbon neutral by 2030.
Over the next 12 months the Council would seek to drive further carbon reductions through major development opportunities and strategy - including:
- Promoting Station Quarter – the next phase of the regeneration of the Town Centre – as a Smart Quarter. Scoping the provision of a 100% renewable fast charging Electric Vehicle Forecourt
- Exploring proposals for delivering carbon reductions within the next phase of Nuplace developments – the Council’s wholly owned housing company
- Exploring proposals to deliver carbon reductions in the development and operation of Ni Park – the new flagship Agri Tech Innovation Park
- Explore options to further enhance sustainable transport provision in the borough, working with partners to extend e-charging provision and considering options such as improving bus services, rail connectivity (including the potential for passenger rail services to the Ironbridge Gorge) and expanding walking/cycling provision
- Placing tackling climate change including the need for mitigation and adaptation at the heart of policy development in the Local Plan review
- Publishing a Local Nature Recovery Strategy which would set out measures to enhance and increase our landscape and woodland resource as well as increase carbon sequestration locally – locking in carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change.
Cabinet Members welcomed the report and acknowledged the role that climate change had played in the recent flooding of the Ironbridge Gorge and the increasing likelihood of extreme weather events if climate action wasn’t taken seriously.
RESOLVED that –
1. the Council’s Becoming Carbon Neutral Action Plan 2019/20 set out in Appendix 1 to the report outlining how the Council will work to reduce carbon emissions from the Council’s operations and activities and influence carbon reduction Borough-wide be approved;
2. it be recognised that the rapidly changing context requires an annual update of the Action Plan reviewing the context, data and evidence; monitoring of progress and inclusion of new actions to further reduce the Council’s carbon footprint;
3. the Programme Executive Lead (and any Council Officer authorised in writing by the Programme Executive Lead) in consultation with the Executive Director: Housing, Communities & Customer Services and Cabinet Lead for Parks, Greenspaces and Natural Environment be authorised to amend and/or make additions to the Action Plan in the interests of achieving the objectives of mitigating and adapting to Climate Change both in respect of the Council’s own operations and activities Borough-wide.
4. the establishment of a Borough Climate Change Partnership be approved as set out in Section 4.3 of the report to work with the Council to develop and implement a Borough-wide Action Plan to meet the Council’s aspiration for Borough-wide carbon neutrality by 2030, recognising that this cannot be delivered without the active participation and shared responsibility from all sectors of the community;
5. that the Programme Executive Lead (and any Council Officer authorised in writing by the Programme Executive Lead) in consultation with the Cabinet Lead for Parks, Greenspaces and Natural Environment be authorised to implement arrangements for the operation of the Partnership.
6. that this report in relation to the Council’s response to the Climate Emergency Declaration be referred to Full Council for information as part of the ‘Matters Determined by the Cabinet’ report.
Report author: Katherine Kynaston
Publication date: 26/02/2020
Date of decision: 20/02/2020
Decided at meeting: 20/02/2020 - Cabinet