County council leads on climate action
Gloucestershire County Council jointly hosted a Climate Change Summit on 21 May with GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership, welcoming feedback from both the public and private sectors.
An audience of passionate and innovative people from across the county joined the discussion at the University of Gloucestershire last month to talk about taking action on climate change.
The summit welcomed speakers from a variety of different points of view, including representatives from the planning, infrastructure, and construction industries, Public Health, young people and sustainable energy experts.
The day looked at how everyone in the county can contribute to creating a sustainable future, calling on communities to help deliver the ambitions of the Gloucestershire Energy Strategy. As a result of the discussions the county council will be updating their Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan for the county.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said, “The council declared a climate emergency on 15 May. Our ambition is to achieve a carbon neutral county by 2050, but we must act now to make this happen and are willing to lead by example. I feel the summit went very well, and I look forward to progressing with a public consultation on our redrafted Climate Change Strategy later this summer. I have heard loud and clear that young people want to be involved and have commissioned an engagement plan, including a youth panel, and we will work with young people to make sure our planned approach meets their needs.”
David Owen, Chief Executive of GFirst LEP said: “This subject is incredibly important for the county, the country and our planet and it is vital that climate change is addressed. With over 120 delegates attending, it confirms just how important the subject is to individuals and businesses from across the region. The LEP are leading the way by creating a sustainable energy strategy for the county, but we need the support of our local authorities and local businesses to make the changes that are needed.”
Cllr Rachel Smith, Green group leader at Gloucestershire County Council said, “Climate breakdown is the biggest threat we face, globally and locally, and it is imperative we don’t just think it is someone else’s problem to deal with, but something we all have a responsibility to act on. The changes required to significantly cut Gloucestershire’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 are tough, but within our reach, and the conversations at today’s summit were a big step forward.”
Cllr Lesley Williams MBE, Labour group leader at Gloucestershire County Council, said, “It was great to get so many different people in the same room talking about climate change. I was particularly moved by the University of Gloucestershire and Stroud Youth speakers. As the next generation it is so important they are included in our plans.”
Cllr Iain Dobie, Liberal Democrat deputy group leader at Gloucestershire County Council, said, “I am delighted that the council recently signed up to a series of ambitious targets, striving to have a carbon neutral council estate by 2030 and investigating how to reduce the county’s emissions by 80 per cent by the same date. It’s imperative that we listen to the views of the public this summer and provide the leadership to tackle the climate emergency in Gloucestershire.”
What are the next steps following the Gloucestershire Climate Change Summit?
- We will be publishing a summary report of the summit shortly
- We will be producing a community engagement plan, so everyone can join in the conversation on this issue
- We will set up a youth panel to inform the county’s actions
- We will be using the feedback from the event to rewrite our county council Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, and we will consult on this in the summer
- We need to be bold with our local planning and we will discuss with partners the best way to challenge the limitations set by central government