Last Thursday the DCC Cabinet meeting included an agenda item to discuss their corporate carbon plan (internal emissions) and the broader Derbyshire Climate Change Framework (all emissions in Derbyshire). The latter is of more interest as it covers the bulk (99%) of the emissions. See this link.
The corporate carbon plan aims to be carbon neutral by 2032, has a detailed list of actions and quantifies how the targets will be reached and should be supported. Clearly a lot of good work has gone into this.
The wider framework is another story. We don’t doubt the officer work that has gone into this and we are certainly further forward than we were a year ago. It is based on net zero by 2050 and relies on a whole series of separate strategies (low emission vehicles, natural capital, waste, energy) some of which are still in the proposal stage (natural capital), and some of which are existing strategies (local transport plan, waste strategy) which will not be reviewed. The only strategy at an advanced stage is the Low Emission Vehicle Infrastructure strategy (p33 of the pdf). This may be unfair but from my reading the whole framework appears to be business as usual with some additional actions. Given the moor fires, Whaley Bridge and the recent floods it doesn’t feel like an appropriate response to the crisis we face.
It is clear that local authorities alone cannot achieve the necessary reduction in emissions in Derbyshire. Climate change is widely recognised by organisations, businesses and the general public as one of the most critical challenges in the world currently and there is widespread desire to tackle it. However, understanding of how people can help is less widely understood. It will therefore be necessary to gain a mutual understanding and consensus of the issues and solutions to ensure effective planning, co-ordination and implementation of the work moving forwards. A Climate Change Communications Plan has recently been developed to ensure that the Council has an effective programme of work in place. The Plan focuses on a social media campaign demonstrating how the Council is committed to protecting the environment. A Climate Summit will also be held in March 2020 to present the Framework and proposals to reduce emissions in order to publicise the work and to seek wider support. An ongoing programme of community conversations will also be developed to ensure the continuing involvement of all stakeholders in the county’s drive to tackle climate change.