Ambitious plans to help the whole district become carbon neutral by 2030 have been backed unanimously by Stroud District Council’s elected members.
Stroud District Council members voted to adopt a `2030 Strategy and Master Plan’ – setting out ambitious plans for how the council will act as exemplar, enabler and encourager to help the entire district become climate-friendly, naturally resilient and carbon neutral by the year 2030.
The council was the first in Europe to become carbon neutral for emissions in its direct control. In November 2018 it declared a climate change emergency and pledged to do everything within its power to make the Stroud district carbon neutral by the year 2030.
The 2030 Strategy and supporting Masterplan set out how the council intends to begin to implement that pledge to help the district adapt to future climate change that will occur doe to the level of CO2 already in the atmosphere.
It is the result of collaboration with community groups, organisations, town and parish councils, the Stroud District Youth Council and feedback from a 9-week public consultation.
Cllr Doina Cornell, leader of Stroud District Council said:
“This is arguably the single most important document we have ever considered as it will influence all our lives, and the lives of future generations.
We will invest in our estates and services and will ensure all future investments are considerate of our carbon neutral commitment.”
The seven themes in the 2030 Strategy are:
- Built Environment: the efficient use of water and power
- Energy: generation and distribution across the district
- Natural Environment: positive outcomes for all species
- Mobility: low carbon movement of people and goods
- Economy: supporting low carbon living
- Waste: minimising waste wherever possible
- Community: how we work together
Stroud District Council will act as an example in the community, an enabler as a partner and policy maker, and an encourager of positive local action.
Achieving the targets of the strategy is beyond the council’s sole control however, and depends on action from everyone in the district.
Significant work has already been undertaken by Stroud District Council including the Rural SUDS natural flood management programme, halving the amount of waste sent for incineration, investing in renewable generation schemes for Ebley Mill and Brimscombe Port Mill, restoring the Stroudwater Canal and improving the cycling and walking infrastructure thoughout the district.
The strategy and plan will be monitored by the council’s Environment Committee. Cllr Simon Pickering, chair of the Environment Committee said:
“Climate change has been developing slowly over the last 150 years with the rate of change dramatically increasing over the last 30 years.
“Unlike with Covid-19, it will not be possible to self-isolate from climate change and there is no vaccine or single solution.
“There is probably just enough time for citizens, communities, councils, businesses and governments to put aside political ideology to prevent catastrophic climate change and take action by cutting energy use, switching to renewable energy, changing our diets and the way we travel and restoring nature.”
The strategy and plan will be subject to ongoing review and annual reporting in order to maintain its relevance and ensure progress on the issues it addresses.
Delivering on the goals within the strategy will be the Stroud district’s contribution to meeting the Paris Agreement that sets out a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below the 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C
The national Government’s target is set for the UK to be carbon neutral by the year 2050.