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:
This objective informs our commitments 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.
In addition to holding this corporate priority, over the last thirteen 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 21May 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 Change.
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 is currently under review to align the strategy with latest research regarding the impact of climate change.
The revised strategy will include 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 will contain an action plan, which will set out how we aim to achieve a target of zero carbon emissions by 2030.
The council will be training Councillors and officers about 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.