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Council to update its climate change strategy

Rushcliffe Borough Council will update its climate change strategy for the next nine years.

Documents show improving the environment and reducing climate emissions is “a significant challenge” to the authority  – but the new strategy is part of plans to make Rushcliffe a carbon neutral Borough by 2050 and to make the council’s operational services carbon neutral by 2030.

Rushcliffe Borough councillors will discuss the changes during next week’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 14 December.

The strategy focuses on the council reducing its own emissions, conservation of local green spaces and supporting the community and businesses to reduce their own emissions.

The ‘council’ part of the strategy will focus on switching to green tariffs, the introduction of solar panels, sustainable heating systems, low energy lighting and low water use facilities where practicable.

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Waste vehicles will be run on biofuel to reduce emissions by 90%, more electric vehicle charging points will be introduced and electric buggies will be used at country parks where possible.

The ‘conservation’ element will include supplying trees to the public, maintaining council grassland as wildflower meadows and supporting community nature conservation action, including providing training, grants, and specialist equipment.

And the community will benefit from guidance on air quality, a walking and cycling action plan and the ‘Green Rewards’ app whereby residents can accumulate points and receive prizes for lowering their carbon footprint.

The strategy outlines the work which has been done so far – including the plantation of 250 trees in Coddington, free tree schemes for residents and work beginning on an energy efficient leisure centre in Bingham.

The new strategy for 2021-2030 will replace the Climate Change Strategy for 2009-2020, which was last updated in 2013.

It shows the amount of emissions generated by all residents, business and local authority activity in the Rushcliffe Borough area in 2019.

A totlal of 37 per cent of emissions came from transportation, 20 per cent from industry, 11 per cent from commercial operations and and six per cent from the public sector.

And 26 per cent of carbon emissions were emitted from domestic properties – heating, lighting and use of household appliances.

Council documents state: “Climate change is a global issue that requires dramatic action on a local level.

“The introduction of this Climate Change Strategy sets out our path to achieve
these goals. The Climate Change Committee (2020), states that ‘Local
authorities have a crucial role to play in achieving the UK’s 2050 Net Zero
greenhouse gas emissions target.

“Whilst local authorities are directly responsible for only 2-5 per cent of local emissions, through their policies and partnerships they have strong influence over more than a third of emissions in their area.

“A Climate Change Strategy for Rushcliffe was first produced in 2009, and then updated in 2013, and these were adopted by the Council.”

Councillors will be asked to vote to adopt the strategy and to confirm the “commitment to work in partnership to ensure that the Borough of Rushcliffe will be Net Zero for its emissions by 2050, in line with National Government’s Net Zero targets”.

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