Council confirms carbon neutral target
The new Buckinghamshire Council has confirmed its full commitment to tackling climate change and has set a challenging but deliverable target date to achieve net carbon zero for Buckinghamshire as a whole by 2050, in line with the Government’s ambitions for the country. It will also target to deliver a net zero for the council own activities much earlier, potentially as early as 2030, subject to resources.
The decision followed lengthy discussions at the Council’s first ever full meeting, held online yesterday (July 15).
Cabinet will now bring forward plans on how the targets can be effectively met. Proposals are expected to include the introduction of new planning guidance to require new developments to reduce carbon emissions, the provision of more sustainable transport, encouraging more green business and industry as well as more tree planting and local carbon reduction schemes.
Martin Tett, Leader of the Council, said the decisions taken by the Council represented a challenging, robust but realistic commitment to tackling climate change in Buckinghamshire.
“Buckinghamshire is a fantastic place to live and work and we want to keep it that way for future generations,” said Martin. “Climate change is a truly global challenge and we must play our part by setting tough goals but ones we can realistically achieve. Some councils announce different earlier targets which are just designed to sound good but which don’t have any substance behind them. We’re definitely not just going to announce goals which are completely impossible to deliver.
“I’m particularly pleased that the new council agreed to evaluate how it could achieve net-zero carbon emissions across its own operations, possibly as early as 2030, and to fully understand the resources and other implications required to do that. If we can achieve this as a Council it would be a fantastic achievement and a fitting legacy for this administration.”
Bill Chapple OBE, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change added, “Building on the ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions for the county by 2050, we have set ourselves an equally challenging task for the council to do the same as early as possible. I will have my team working on evaluating a plan to do this over the next few months so we can start taking action as soon as possible. There’s masses to do but if we take a sensible, measured and properly planned approach we’ll get there.
He added, “This isn’t just my responsibility, it’s a responsibility that falls to everyone to play their part.”
The climate change strategy is expected to be completed by February 2021.