Council gets green thumbs-up for climate plans - The Leamington Observer

Council gets green thumbs-up for climate plans

THE CLIMATE crisis fighting plans of Warwick District Council have been given a green bill of health.

Climate Emergency UK has released a league table of all UK council’s Climate Emergency Action Plans, with Warwick District Council ranked seventh out of all participating district and borough councils, with a score of 47 per cent. Lancaster City Council topped the list with 61 per cent.

WDC also scored the highest among all councils in Warwickshire.

Neighbouring Stratford district and Rugby borough councils scored 30 and 33 per cent respectively. Warwickshire County Council scored 29 per cent in the list of county councils which was topped by Oxfordshire with 53 per cent.

Each authority’s plan was assessed on a range of areas including governance, funding, biodiversity, collaboration, and engagement in early 2023.

WDC’s Climate Change Action Programme sets out ambitions for the district with specific steps on how to achieve them, and since its adoption in November 2021 the council has made progress including:

· Launching the Choose How You Move in Warwick District challenge, rewarding residents with redeemable points for choosing active and sustainable travel

· Delivering retrofit schemes for council and private housing

· Developing a Net Zero Development Plan Document (DPD) to impose standards on new developments to ensure they are carbon neutral

· Participating in No Mow May, with large areas of the district left uncut to encourage biodiversity

· Enabling the supply of thousands of trees to local farms with the support of Arden Farm Wildlife Network, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, and the Heart of England Forest

· Implementing a Local Climate Engagement programme, engaging with rural communities to empower them to take local action on climate change

But the climate score cards also show there are some important areas WDCneeds to address, notably in relation to biodiversity.

WDC climate change spokesman James Kennedy said: “We’re pleased to see that the work undertaken so far on our Climate Change Action Programme has been acknowledged by Climate Emergency UK.

“The Climate Change Action Programme has been developed and implemented with cross-party support, and this recent score demonstrates the importance of continued collaboration – with councillors, our partners, stakeholders, and residents – to achieve our ambitions.

“However, we acknowledge that there is more to do. With the recent declaration of an ecological emergency, we are making great strides on our Biodiversity Action Plan, and our emerging Corporate Strategy puts sustainability at the heart of our decision making.

“We’re keen to focus on areas that we can we directly influence, and one of our strategic priorities is to reduce energy bills for Council tenants, helping private homeowners and renters to reduce theirs as well, and reducing carbon emissions associated with Council-owned buildings.”

Climate Emergency UK (CE UK) was set up in response to the climate emergency declarations that councils started making from the end of 2018.

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