Cross-party support to make developers go carbon neutral
A motion calling for all new public buildings and developments in Gloucestershire to be carbon neutral has been unanimously backed by councillors.
At a meeting of the full council on Wednesday 11 September, Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, proposed a motion calling on Gloucestershire County Council to take further steps to tackle the climate emergency.
The motion, which was supported by all councillors following amendment, requested that the cabinet work with the NHS, Gloucestershire Constabulary and district councils to ensure that all new public buildings and residential and commercial developments in Gloucestershire support the move to zero carbon. About 60,000 new homes are due to be built in the county over the next 20 years – about 3,000 a year.
It comes after a climate emergency was declared by the council in May. It aims to become carbon neutral as an organisation by 2030 and is identifying measures to deliver an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the whole county by the same date.
Cllr Hodgkinson said: “Gloucestershire County Council has taken an important step by declaring a climate emergency, following our motion back in May. However it is time to take steps to match the sentiment and the housing industry is an important area to tackle. We are therefore calling on the county council to flex its significant legal clout and use this avenue to make a significant dent in the county’s future climate emissions.”
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We are determined to achieve our aim of becoming a carbon neutral county by 2050. We can reach this target by working with our partners to ensure any new public buildings are zero carbon and developers choose greener methods of construction.”
Cllr Lesley Williams, leader of the Labour Group, said: “I am delighted we have shown cross-party support for this motion. We all need to play our part in tackling climate change and we can show we are leading the way as a county by making sure developers are on board with the move to zero carbon.”
Cllr Rachel Smith, leader of the Green Group, said: “Climate breakdown is a huge threat we face and we need to take urgent action to achieve the 80 per cent county-wide carbon reduction by 2030 as agreed by full council in May. By working with district councils and our partners on removing the carbon footprint of public buildings and housing, we can help to create warmer, healthier homes and a greener future for Gloucestershire.”