Monmouthshire County Council will meet on Thursday, 4th November to consider an action plan to update the council’s Climate and Decarbonisation Strategy – its response to combatting climate change, originally approved in October 2019. The report recommends a series of revised measures to accelerate progress towards reducing the council’s emissions to zero by 2030.
The action plan focuses on ten areas where the council can concentrate on tackling climate change. These comprise of energy and buildings; renewable energy; nature recovery and green spaces; procurement; waste; active travel; greener transport; public transport; education and involvement; and climate adaptation.
Among the proposals designed to help the council achieve its aims are reducing the amount of energy used for buildings and street lighting, speeding the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy, supporting biodiversity and resilience for ecosystems, and reducing waste by encouraging people to reduce, re-use and recycle more. In addition, the council will invest in new routes making it easier for people to walk and cycle rather than drive, encourage the use of hydrogen and electric vehicles as well as public transport and educate people to understand and face climate change by making carbon literacy training available in communities. The council will also make preparing and adapting for the impact of climate change a priority.
The actions aim to reduce carbon emissions that the council produces, but also emissions from across the county. This means working in partnership with other organisations, businesses and community groups in order to have the biggest impact. The action plan also includes simple steps that everyone can take. Together these small steps add up and make a big difference.
Responsibility for overseeing the development of the action plan sits with a cross-party working group, involving officers, councillors and community representatives. It is chaired by Councillor Jane Pratt, Monmouthshire’s cabinet member leading the council’s campaign against climate change. Councillor Pratt said: “Climate change is arguably the biggest challenge facing the world today. With the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference currently taking place in Glasgow, there is no better time to restate our commitment and refresh the authority’s action plan.”
The cross-party group will continue to examine new activity and it is likely that a further revision of the action plan will take place within the next twelve months.
As part of the COP26 conference, Monmouthshire has also signed an international declaration called the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration, which renews the council’s commitment to develop sustainable food policies and reinforces the councils ongoing commitment to develop the county as a sustainable food region. This work has included recently joining with the Sustainable Food Network to develop a county- wide Food Partnership and aligning MCC’s food action plan and the developing food strategy for continued development of a good food movement.
Councillor Pratt continued: “We’re aware that working towards becoming net zero by 2030 will not be easy and we need everyone to support this agenda. As always, we’re indebted to the county’s residents, businesses and other organisations for their enthusiasm, energy and expertise as we encourage them to reduce their own emissions.”
For more information on Monmouthshire’s climate change policies, visit: https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/climate-emergency/