County Council’s commitment to zero carbon

Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet has heard (Monday 6 January 2020) how the Authority is pressing forward with its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, in line with national targets

Jan 7 2020

Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “The County Council is committed to establishing a clear action plan to embed carbon reduction measures across the Authority and make Hampshire more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate.  This strategy sets out targets on both mitigation and resilience, for both the County Council’s own operations and the wider Hampshire area.”

The action plan covers all direct and indirect carbon emissions from the County Council’s own activities – such as fuel, energy and waste. These activities account for around one per cent of all carbon emissions for the county of Hampshire. Therefore, the plan sets a target for Hampshire as a whole, which aligns with the national Government target of 2050. The Cabinet has agreed all recommendations in the report, including revoking the policy prohibiting consideration of wind turbines on County Council land, and establishing a programme of tree and wildflower planting on highways land and verges.

Councillor Humby continued: “It’s imperative that we place climate mitigation and resilience at the heart of our policy and decision-making. We need all the County Council’s services to contribute to reducing emissions and building resilience – replacing transport fleets with electric vehicles, reducing carbon from street lighting, and maximising the use of recycled materials in highways maintenance, to name just a few areas.

“The County Council’s activities account for just a small proportion of the overall carbon emissions in Hampshire – the majority of which come from transport and domestic energy.  As the highway authority, the County Council has a key role to play around transport, and it is clear we will all need to make changes to tackle energy consumption – building on the many instances of successful community energy projects, for example, which demonstrate what can be achieved by direct community action.”

Councillor Jan Warwick, Hampshire County Council’s Climate Change Advisor to the Executive said: “As one organisation, the County Council cannot affect the change needed on this scale on its own.  But together, we can make an impact: we will be lobbying national Government, and seeking opportunities to secure funding wherever possible; working with partners, businesses and communities to establish effective ways action can be taken to meet the Climate Emergency declaration as well as adapt to a changing climate; and we want to find ways we can encourage people to make small, easy changes to their everyday behaviours which, cumulatively, have the potential to achieve large scale change across communities.”

The County Council Leader, Councillor Keith Mans, has requested regular updates so that Cabinet can closely manage and oversee progress on the County Council’s Climate Change response.

Over the past decade, over £30 million has been made in carbon savings from the County Council’s estate and operations - reducing the County Council’s carbon consumption by 43%.

Read the full report at here