New funding and a joined-up approach will help Cambridgeshire County Council reach its goal of becoming carbon net zero by 2030.
The authority’s Environment and Green Investment Committee will decide on 7 July whether to endorse an Enabling Net Zero Plan, transferring funding of £2.1 million to help hit the eight-year target, as well as supporting the county to become net zero by 2045.
The council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and is a top priority for the current Joint Administration.
A Climate Change and Environment Strategy agreed by Full Council in February committed the authority to becoming net zero by 2030 – including emissions from its buildings and transport.
Moreover, there was a commitment to making sure Cambridgeshire was a net zero county by 2045.
This plan will enable all teams in the council to understand what is needed to decarbonise every part of the authority’s activities.
To help fund the transformation towards net zero, a ‘Just Transition’ fund set up in March is proposed to be utilised to help deliver the necessary changes, with the committee voting on whether to transfer £2.175 million to spend over the next four years. This would be spent on areas including investment in technical know-how and creating detailed decarbonisation plans and projects, improving data analysis and collection and ensuring the council has the necessary expertise and relationships going forward.
Once these are in place, achieving net zero delivery as set out by the council targets and ensuring the wider social, environmental and economic benefits for residents are achieved is the next step.
Cllr Lorna Dupré, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s Environment and Green Investment Committee, said: “The key message for developed countries at COP26 was to scale up action to cut carbon emissions and to do this swiftly to prevent global warming reaching a tipping point. There is a lot riding on this plan, especially the future for young people living and working in Cambridgeshire, but also for the vulnerable in our community who will need support through the climate emergency.
“By taking decisive action now we are showing we are ready to make the tough but necessary decisions to hit our tight carbon net zero targets.”
The committee will also decide whether to endorse the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority’s Climate Action Plan and the county council’s input into the plan.
The plan is being devised in response to a report produced by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Commission for Climate Change which outlined actions to help Cambridgeshire and Peterborough reach net zero.
The papers for the committee can be viewed on the council's website.
The meeting can be viewed on the council’s YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/user/CambsCountyCouncil.