Climate emergency action
Despite the challenging times we are in, work on the Climate Emergency will remain one of the Council priorities during this year, as laid out in our Council Plan.
At a full Council meeting on Wednesday 17 July 2019 the Council declared a ‘Climate Emergency’.
Councillors have pledged to take local action to contribute to national carbon neutral targets through the development of practices and policies, with an aim of making Elmbridge Borough Council as an organisation net carbon neutral by 2030.
At its meeting of 18 September 2019, the Cabinet considered and agreed several actions including the commissioning of a comprehensive carbon emissions audit by a specialist organisation that would inform and assist in the development of a carbon reduction action plan and strategy.
Baseline carbon audit and carbon footprint
The calculation of the Council’s Carbon Footprint requires an extensive data collection process which was carried out last winter. The specialist organisation also conducted energy audits of key Council buildings, to identify and assess carbon reduction opportunities. With the data gathered, in a first step the specialist organisation calculated the Council’s overall Carbon Footprint. The Carbon Footprint report can be read online.
The Carbon Footprint is key to understanding the sources of carbon emissions and its composition.
The air quality in the borough is monitored monthly. We expect it to improve further.
Carbon reduction action plan – in progress
The Carbon Trust will be using the Footprint to recommend a list of actions the Council could take to reduce its carbon emissions as an organisation and tackle the climate emergency. The proposed actions will require assessment and personalisation to take into consideration the local circumstances of Elmbridge Borough Council. The Council’s Plan for 2020/21 set this out.
Based on the recommendations an officer working group will be working on the Carbon Reduction Action Plan in the coming months. The Carbon Reduction Action Plan will be shaped, including specific, measurable and actionable short-, medium- and long-term targets for the Council to meet its proposed target to become net carbon neutral as an organisation by 2030.
The Carbon Reduction Action Plan will focus on the Council’s own operations and those it has direct control over. This is to ensure set targets are realistic and can be met as soon as possible. To maximise our response to climate change we are closely working together with Surrey County Council.
Wider sustainability initiatives
In the meantime, the Council continues its’ efforts to minimise carbon emissions and to look for opportunities to work with our community and residents to help make a positive change.