Council commits to becoming carbon neutral by 2030
Gloucestershire County Council will play its part in global carbon reduction following a motion on climate change, which was unanimously supported at Full Council yesterday (15 May 2019).
As part of the motion, councillors agreed to:
- Welcome and endorse on behalf of Gloucestershire the declaration of a climate change emergency by parliament on behalf of the UK and urge other countries to do the same.
- Commit towards an 80 per cent reduction in the council`s corporate carbon emissions no later than 2030, striving towards 100 per cent with carbon offsetting by the same date.
- Commit the council to following the scientific advice of the Committee on Climate Change, and deliver a carbon neutral county by 2050, and work with partners to identify what measures would be needed to deliver a stepped target of 80 per cent carbon reduction by 2030 to reflect the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate change.
- To call on Central Government to provide additional powers and resources to support local and national action towards this 2030 target.
- Lobby national government to commit to 100 per cent carbon neutrality by 2050.
- Consider contracts going forward to oblige all contractors to report their carbon emissions and to place a ‘carbon/environmental cost’ on competing bids.
- Do all in the council’s power to adopt, implement and strengthen the Gloucestershire Sustainable Energy Strategy.
- Ensure that the council’s major plans, such as the local transport plan, have clearly identified strategies to reduce carbon emissions.
- Work with district and borough councils to reduce the districts’ carbon footprint within their corporate strategies.
- Provide an annual report to the Environment Committee, with a performance update on a quarterly basis to the relevant committees including details of the resources required to meet the council’s 2030 carbon neutral target.
Proposer of the motion, Cllr Ian Dobie, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat Group at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Let us be in no doubt, we must take action now. The Government and this council must be more ambitious in its attempts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. That is why I am delighted today we have agreed to strive toward a zero carbon estate by 2030. This motion represents the start of a journey towards a greener Gloucestershire.”
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning, said, “Climate change is an urgent issue and we are already taking a leading role in the county, challenging ourselves and others to take steps towards becoming carbon neutral. Furthermore, we are holding a climate change summit next week with Gfirst Local Enterprise Partnership, with the ambition for Gloucestershire as a whole to be carbon neutral by 2050. Our aims are ambitious, and we will need to work closely with all our partners on a shared vision to be successful.”
Cllr Rachel Smith, leader of the Green Group at the county council, said, “This is a good step forward for our county, and the positive public debate on the matter enabled the building of consensus around the chamber. It’s important we follow the evidence and I’m delighted we will now identify the measures required to achieve a significant county-wide stepped target for carbon reduction by 2030.”
Cllr Lesley Williams, Labour Group leader at Gloucestershire County Council, said, “I’m pleased the council will be doing all in our power to make change happen. This county is full of passionate and innovative people and I look forward to hearing from them next week at the Gloucestershire Climate Change Summit."
The motion text will be online alongside the meeting minutes shortly.