Council continues to take strides towards net zero carbon emissions


East Cambridgeshire District Council’s commitment to reaching net zero carbon emissions has been illustrated by the green goals it has reached this year.

Following the declaration of a climate emergency, the Council created an Environment and Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan which set out the authority’s top 20 actions for tackling climate change in 2020/2021.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the Council has still made significant strides towards meeting their goal and completing a number of actions set out in the plan.

After public consultations, both the Climate Change and Natural Environmental Supplementary Planning Documents were approved by the Council’s Finance and Assets Committee, making the area’s environmental aims a formal consideration in all future planning decisions.

In addition to this, the Council has also begun to implement a culture of homeworking to lower carbon emissions from business travel.

Plans to make some of the Council’s own land assets richer in biodiversity have been enacted after the Wildlife Trust identified three areas for tree and meadow planting that can now be taken forward by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Alongside the Council’s switch to a 100% renewable electricity contract at its headquarters, all street and car park lights in areas managed by the Council have been switched to LED bulbs over this winter.

With the term of the first Action Plan coming to an end in June this year, the Council has relaunched its Ideas Forum to give residents an opportunity to offer their ideas on how the Council could further reduce their carbon emissions and aid the natural environment in 2021/2022.

Until 28th February, residents can submit their thoughts to the Ideas Forum before they are collated and considered by the Council to help form the next annual Action Plan.

Once created, the 2021/2022 strategy will be presented to the Operational Services Committee in June 2021 for formal adoption.

Councillor David Ambrose Smith, chairman of the Operational Services Committee, said: “The Council’s dedication to reducing carbon emissions across the district has been underlined by the progress we have made towards meeting the goals we set out last year.

“While we are incredibly proud of the work we have done so far, we know that we must not rest on our laurels and the creation of the second Action Plan will allow us to keep up the momentum we have gained since declaring a climate emergency.”

Councillor Julia Huffer, Member Champion for Climate change and the Natural Environment, said:

“The reopening of the Ideas Forum provides our residents with the perfect opportunity to continue to have their say and send the Council their ideas on how we can tackle climate change and boost the natural environment.

“I would urge all of our residents to submit their suggestions to the Ideas Forum before the deadline on 28th February.” 

Residents can submit their ideas in a number of ways including online, by visiting the East Cambs website, emailing or by calling the Customer Services Team on 01353 665555 during office hours.