Climate Change Strategy
2.1 The strategy objectives will be achieved by:
- Reducing carbon emissions from our own estate and operations to net zero by 2030, or a justification for a later date if the review finds this unachievable
We understand that the decarbonisation of our operational buildings will play a large part in achieving our 2030 target. This is coupled with achieving the UK Government’s 2050 target of meeting Net Zero for our housing stock too.
WHBC has always looked to reduce energy costs where possible and thisn must continue to be at the forefront of our minds to achieve both monetary savings as well as carbon reduction.
Through funding sources such as the Public Sector Decarbonisation Schemeb(PSDS) and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) the council willbcontinue to carry out worthwhile projects to meet the Net Zero target. Whilst the target for 2030 is ambitious, and goes further than the declarations set by the UK Government, WHBC understands the importance of rapid action and through setting these objectives will be a beacon of light to assist in empowerment across the Borough.
- To comply with statutory obligations to mitigate and adapt to climate change
There is a statutory obligation (Climate Change Act 2008) on councils to prepare for and minimise the longer-term impacts of climate change.
WHBC have carried out schemes which have already made positive steps towards reducing the Carbon Baseline, many of these schemes carried out within existing budgets.
Whilst the subject of Climate Change is a constantly evolving, the focus of the Climate Change Action Plan (CAP) will also naturally evolve, especially where new statutory duties arise. Many of these will require support, guidance and leadership from the UK Government and changes to national strategy and policy. These will undoubtedly require new sources of funding to be secured, or existing sources of funding to be made more flexible to support schemes that fall within the category of climate change.
WHBC will meet all statutory obligations to assist with the global effort of tackling Climate Change.
- To work with, support, encourage and engage residents,communities, businesses and other partners in initiatives to reduce carbon emissions with the aim to be Net Zero as a borough by 2050
To achieve our objectives we will need to support all residents, businesses and organisation within the borough. To deliver fundamental and lasting changes, we must encourage, empower and enable our residents, local businesses and wider community to take personal decisions that reduce their own carbon footprints and help us meet our goals.
The council will continue to provide information through the main website and where possible, direct residents and businesses in ways to reduce their carbon footprint through available grants and schemes.
- To embed climate change mitigation and adaptation into our plans, strategies and policies
There is a statutory obligation (Climate Change Act 2008) on councils to prepare for and minimise the longer-term impacts of climate change. This is reinforced by expectations for community resilience and business continuity by residents and businesses. Climate Change implications will be considered in all decision making by committees in relation to our plans, strategies and policies.
As a member of the Hertfordshire Climate Change and Sustainability Partnership (HCCSP) WHBC will continue to plan mitigation measures to cope with the identified risks set out in the UK Government Climate Change Risk Assessment and forms part of the National Adaptation Programme strategy.
Adaptations will assist in overcoming the climate variables predicted for Hertfordshire which include:
- Wetter winters and drier summers with greater potential for extreme rainfall events
- Warmer winters and hotter summers with greater potential for heatwaves
- Increase in humidity
- Reduction in snow fall during winter
- Potential for more intense storms
Supplemental, follow up strategies will be developed as part of the ongoing
climate agenda and as direct result of the developed projects within the CAP.
- To reduce carbon emissions across the borough by promoting energy efficiency measures, sustainable construction, renewable energy, sustainable transport and behavioural change
It is clear that behavioural change is required across all sectors to reduce thebnegative impacts on our climate based by everyday living, as a result of this we all need to play our part in making conscious decisions to change all aspects of our lives.
We will engage with households, landlords, businesses and the wider public sector to promote clean, carbon neutral alternatives fossil fuel heating (gas, oil, LPG, etc.), insulation and heating controls.