Categories: News, Community & Volunteer, Hampshire
EHDC declares climate emergency
EHDC declares climate emergency
East Hampshire District Council has officially declared a climate emergency and announced how it will continue to take urgent, positive and deliverable steps to reduce its impact on the environment.
Councillors pledged to work across political parties to achieve a list of ‘ambitious and achievable’ targets and build on its long-standing environmental track record.
Among the objectives are the appointment of a Climate Change Champion, retrofitting homes with energy-saving improvements and planting a tree for every resident in the district.
At its Full Council meeting on Thursday 18 July, EHDC pledged to renew its environment and energy strategy with actions that will reduce its carbon emissions and promote sustainable business practices.
The strategy will ensure that all council services focus on environmental issues as part of everyday decision-making. It will promote sustainable building standards through the council’s planning and building standards work and will influence and collaborate with other public bodies to deliver the UK government Climate Change Act target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The council’s retrofit programme, subsidising the installation of energy-saving measures such as insulation and double glazing – which has already seen £1 million of works carried out - will be further promoted to residents.
The council will also seek to remove carbon from the environment with an ambitious tree-planting programme which will see 120,000 trees planted across East Hampshire – one for each resident in the district.
A cross-party working group will be set up, headed by a Climate Change Champion drawn from the opposition parties, with a remit to include views and ideas from across the community.
Councillor Richard Millard, Leader of East Hampshire District Council, said: “We will work together to ensure the results we have set out are achieved. We must look to the future and the kind of environment we will be handing on to future generations. We must take action now, before it is too late, to ensure real improvement in the lives of our children and grandchildren.
“This council has a strong track record on environmental issues having drawn up its Green Town Vision for the regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon in 2003, our pool cars are electric and we have helped install electric vehicle charging points in Petersfield, Liphook and Alton.
“A local authority only has power over its own estate but we will get our own house in order through a set of ambitious but achievable targets that will reduce this council’s impact on the environment and demonstrate to others what can and must be done.”
Cllr Steve Hunt, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “We have no doubt that the world is facing a climate emergency and it is every councillor’s responsibility to play its part in addressing that.
“We have started work on this the right away, with the first steps forming a cross-party panel happening this week. It is important the new body has teeth in order to tackle the climate emergency head on.
“This is the challenge which councillors of all political persuasions and independents will work together to meet.”
The council will also campaign for government funding to improve local environmental projects and influence partner organisations such as councils, schools and businesses to reduce their environmental impact.
It will also take a greater role in education and leadership, visiting schools and involve young people in tackling climate change.
Media Contact: Will Parsons, EHDC Communications Officer, 01730 234030
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