Climate action has been a long term corporate priority area for the council, and has been pursued through our objective to Prosper and Protect North Hertfordshire.
As part of this objective, we are committed to:
- green space provision
- representing the climate change interests of North Hertfordshire residents on county and regional plans, policies and aspirations
- supporting initiatives that increase the energy efficiency of residents’ homes, reduce resource waste, and increase our sustainability for the longer term
- protecting our physical heritage
- finding environmentally sustainable solutions to the challenges.
Over the last 13 years we have worked continuously to reduce our waste, reduce our CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency across the district.
The Council remains committed to playing a leadership role in local efforts to address climate change. We will continue to approach climate action in an inclusive, fair and effective manner.
Climate Change Emergency
On 21 May 2019, the council passed a Climate Emergency motion which pledged to do everything within the Council’s power achieve zero carbon emissions in North Hertfordshire by 2030.
As one of the first councils to pass this motion, NHDC is leading the way on climate action. This declaration asserted the Council’s commitment toward Climate Action beyond current government targets and international agreements.
Cabinet Panel on the Environment
The Cabinet Panel on the Environment is an advisory panel chaired by the Executive Member for Environment and Leisure, and Recycling and Waste alternately.
The panel meets approximately six times per year. Any person or body is welcome and able to participate at meetings.
Climate Change Strategy
The Climate Change Strategy has been reviewed to align the strategy with latest research regarding the impact of climate change.
The revised strategy includes reference to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report of October 2018 regarding limiting global warming to 1.5°C, which would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.
The Committee for Climate Change (CCC) also issued a report (2 May 2019) to state that the UK can end its contribution to global warming within 30 years by setting an ambitious new target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.
The new strategy contains an action plan, which will set out how we aim to achieve a carbon neutral position by 2030.
The council will be training Councillors and officers on how to promote carbon neutral policies, alongside continuing to work with our partners to deliver carbon reductions.
We do already have a good track record in this area, having reduced our emissions from our own estates and operations and introduced electric vehicle charging points to name just a couple of initiatives.
Plastic Free North Hertfordshire
In 2018, the Council passed two motions with the aim of encouraging residents, businesses and Council staffs to reduce, reuse and correctly recycle plastics.
The first motion passed declared the Council’s support of the principle of an initiative entitled "Plastic Free Letchworth", which is committed to supporting plastic free alternatives. This pilot project has now been extended to the rest of the district.
The second motion passed declared the Council’s commitment to minimising its own use of plastics and to eliminate the use of single use plastics and replace with sustainable alternatives by 2022. It also requested that all of the Council's suppliers and contractors to remove single use plastics from their products and packaging as soon as possible.
Monthly Climate Change Briefing
The Corporate Policy Team provide a monthly update of actions that support the Council's aim to reduce its impact on the environment. This is available below.
Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment
As part of the climate emergency declaration, when Council policies are reviewed, specific consideration is given to how the policies and related decisions and actions affect our contribution to climate change, and where necessary, these policies are updated to reduce our impact where possible.
The inclusion of an environmental implications section within reports and delegated decision templates ensures that impacts and mitigation measures and risks are identified at an early stage. The Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment summarises the environmental impact analysis of key council decisions in the last civic year.
Hertfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership
The Council is a partner of the Hertfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership (HCCSP), which has members from Hertfordshire County Council, all local district and borough councils and the Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
This is a strategic partnership which aims to share information, coordinate and influence solutions, and bring forward proposals for interventions around climate change and sustainability across Hertfordshire. The key focus for HCCSP is working in partnership and developing joint programmes that are beyond the scope of individual authorities.