Council commits to new Climate Change Strategy Framework
Shropshire Councillors have unanimously agreed a new Climate Change Strategy Framework at Full Council (Thursday 19 December, 2019) setting a clear commitment and direction for the council and county as a whole.
The decision follows the creation of a Climate Change Task Force and will lead to the creation of a strategy and action plan. The aim of the strategy and action plan is to reduce Shropshire Council’s carbon footprint and establish the council as a community leader in tackling the climate change crisis.
The decision means that Shropshire Council has committed to reducing its’ own greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net carbon zero by 2030.
The council would urge other organisations and communities within Shropshire to follow suit to help place the county – ‘the’ home of Darwinism and the Natural Sciences – at the forefront of the climate agenda.
An important measure to achieve this will be the preparation of an annual Carbon Impact Budget. This will identify the carbon impacts of Council services and major projects. It will report on annual performance trends alongside the Council’s financial budget increasing accountability for carbon reduction.
The approved Framework identifies a number of key themes where both direct and indirect actions to reduce Shropshire’s carbon footprint and improve its resilience to the climate and wildlife crisis will have the greatest effect, including: Transport and travel; Renewable energy generation and storage; Sustainable land management; Clean growth and investment in low carbon infrastructure; Service adaptation and resilience, and Energy demand management.
In recent years Shropshire Council has implemented a range of measures to reduce its carbon footprint, including resource and energy efficiency measures, renewable energy generation and waste re-use and investing in technology and agile working, which have also generated savings for re-investment in council services and communities.
For example, there are now 41 solar energy arrays installed across 28 sites. The total carbon emissions avoided since installation of these arrays is nearly 3,000 tonnes with a financial saving to the Council of £1.36m.
Positive action to further reduce the Council’s carbon footprint will continue alongside development of the full strategy and action plan.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for adult social care and climate change, said:
“The decision to agree the new Climate Change Strategy Framework is an important step in the development of a Climate Change Action Plan. It further strengthens Shropshire Council’s commitment to tackling the climate and wildlife crisis in the county.
“The best available data suggests that Shropshire Council’s own carbon footprint has already fallen from around 31,000 tonnes in 2012 to around 23,000 tonnes in 2017, but we have much more to do.
“The current rate of the reduction of our emissions shows that we are on course for net zero by 2030. That being said, the commitment to reduce our own GHG emissions by 2030 is an ambitious goal, so it is appropriate with our recognition of a climate emergency.
“Our initial focus will be to reduce our own carbon footprint to net zero by 2030. However, I would urge all organisations and communities within Shropshire to follow suit and help Shropshire become a leading county in tackling the climate and wildlife crisis.”
“We plan to have a draft Climate Change Strategy prepared by spring 2020 and will open this up for public consultation so everyone can have valuable input.”
Today’s decision follows a commitment made at Full Council in May 2019 to work on the development of a Climate Change Action Plan.
You can read the full Climate Change Strategic Framework and the Council Report by visiting Shropshire Council’s committee page.