Monmouthshire County Council is developing plans to reduce its carbon emissions. The council declared a climate emergency in May 2019 and the plans will be examined by the Strong Communities Select Committee on the 26th September before being debated the County Council in October.
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Significant change is needed before 2030 to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 °C to minimise risks from extreme weather events such as storms, the loss of important species and habitats and the resulting impacts on people, businesses and communities.
The local authority is already doing many things to reduce carbon emissions. The council has a solar farm and has installed solar panels on lots buildings which generate the equivalent of nearly 20% of electricity the council uses and 99.5% of the electricity used by the council last year was from renewable sources. The council is installing electric vehicle charging points around the county and is working with a local company to pilot hydrogen powered vehicles. In 2018 councillors asked The Gwent Pension Fund to begin disinvesting from fossil fuels.
Cllr Jane Pratt Cabinet Member Whole Authority for de-carbonisation said, “These things on their own are not enough to tackle the Climate Emergency. New initiatives are required to make a difference across all communities and citizens in Monmouthshire – it’s about how we travel, live, eat, produce our food, shop and how we are inextricably linked to our environment.”
The council can’t reduce carbon on its own, the help of the public and businesses is vital. This all needs to be done whilst balancing the needs of enterprise and supporting our rural economy now and in the future. Officers working on the plan have met with Community Climate Champions to ensure they are engaged in the development of the plan.
There are simple steps that everyone can take to reduce their carbon footprint, such as walking and cycling more, reducing, re-using and recycling waste and buying local food.
The climate emergency will be one of the themes of the Monmouthshire County Council marquee at the Usk Show on Saturday 14th September. The council welcomes residents visiting the show to pop in and chat to officers and the many organisations.