New action points approved for North Herts Climate Change Strategy

PR Date: 
Wednesday, 17 March 2021 - 10:15am
 

At a meeting of North Herts District Council’s (NHDC) Cabinet last night, Councillors approved an updated Climate Change Strategy to further help tackle climate change in the district.

NHDC has agreed to reduce the Council’s own carbon emissions by targeting:

  • Council buildings and property – including replacing gas fired systems with electricity from renewable resources where appropriate and ensuring any new heating installations use renewable electricity, improving insulation and lighting use to reduce energy outputs, investigating on site generation of electricity from solar or wind,  exploring the use of sustainable heating for swimming pools
  • Council transport – replacing all future leased or purchased vehicles with Ultra Low Emission or Zero Emission Vehicles, reduction of staff and Councillor business travel, reduction of staff commuting through more homeworking, explore use of low or zero emission refuse vehicles
  • Offsetting – creation of more wildflower meadows in the district, change of some grass verge cutting regimes to allow wildflower species to grow, investigating land needed to plant enough trees to offset remaining Council carbon emissions and if feasible work towards this goal

We will work to develop and support policies that encourage reduction of carbon emissions across the district including:

  • Enabling carbon savings – ensuring that all developments built on land sold by the Council must use very little energy for heating or cooling (the Passivhaus Standard), providing more electric vehicle charging points in our car parks, ensuring that planning applications for new developments are designed around routes for active travel rather than cars, working towards improving the cycle network in North Herts, exploring the use of solar schemes for residents
  • Inspiring the community –supporting community tree planting initiatives, raising awareness of benefits of housing insulation and heating and energy reduction measures in homes, running food waste awareness programmes

These updated actions build on the Climate Emergency motion by the Council in May 2019, where the Council pledged to do everything within its power to achieve net zero carbon emissions in North Hertfordshire by 2030.

Since the Climate Change Strategy was introduced, NHDC has already been working hard to reduce carbon emissions in the district, including:

  • Making the switch to renewable electricity and green gas to power and heat its buildings
  • Working towards identifying the Council’s current carbon footprint to help inform opportunities for further carbon reduction
  • Eliminating the use of single use plastic overshoes for visitors at its swimming centres
  • Making changes to our Taxi and Private Hire Licensing Policy to limit emissions from vehicles
  • Continuing to engage with residents, businesses, and partners on clean air, biodiversity and sustainable transport initiatives in the district

Cllr Steve Jarvis, NHDC’s Executive Member for Environment said: “Since declaring a Climate Emergency, our mission to reduce carbon emissions has been at the forefront of all of our work. Through this updated Strategy we will continue to lead by example by reducing our own carbon emissions and helping the local environment wherever possible.  “There is still much work to do but we remain fully committed to tackling the climate emergency at a local level, working alongside residents and businesses to enable change.”

To find the full list of proposals approved by Cabinet view the report: https://democracy.north-herts.gov.uk/documents/s15807/Climate%20Change%20Strategy%202021-2026.pdf

To find out more about NHDC’s Climate Change Strategy go to our Climate Change Strategy webpage: www.north-herts.gov.uk/home/council-data-and-performance/policies/climate-change

 

 

 ULEV leasehold cars at NHDC