Eastleigh Borough Council approved a strategy and action plan to tackle climate change following its previous decision to declare a Climate Change and Environmental Emergency.
The Council has now published a new strategy and action plan detailing how the Council will continue to tackle the Climate and Environmental Emergency and recognises the urgency of action to mitigate and adapt to climate change in every decision taken by the Council.
The Council will be putting measures in place for its own operations and functions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025 and will work with communities and businesses across the Borough to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
The interim action plan covers areas such as ecology, energy, planning, transport, waste and more. It includes:
- Plans to widen the Borough’s food waste recycling programme
- Proposal for large scale habitat creation projects that will help to absorb carbon
- Developing Council supplementary planning documents to provide greater support relating to biodiversity and protecting the environment in and around development sites
- Plans to introduce more wildflowers and ‘minimal maintenance’ areas to increase biodiversity
- Plans to move the Council Streetscene teams vehicles and equipment over to electric and low emission alternatives
- Work with Southern Water to pilot a Green Redeem scheme that rewards positive environmental behaviour
- New strategies on biodiversity, pollution and sustainable transport
- Further measures to protect trees, introduce a tree planting/replacement scheme
The Borough Council has a long history of tackling climate change and was awarded Beacon Status for its efforts in 2008. Over the last decade the Council has installed hundreds of thousands of kWh of renewable energy, supported residents and community groups to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, lobbied Government and worked with partners to improve the resilience of the Borough. During this time it has also supported hundreds of households to improve the efficiency of their homes and continued public engagement and with schools. The Council’s operational emissions have reduced by over 35% since 2008.
Over a third of Eastleigh carbon emissions come from lifestyles of our residents, such as diet, travel, energy use and purchasing. That means that people’s lifestyle changes really can make a difference.
Cllr Rupert Kyrle, Cabinet Lead of Environment and Chair of the Cross-Party working group on the Climate Change and Environmental Emergency, says: “It’s great that the Council has approved a Climate and Environmental Emergency Strategy and Action Plan. It is widely acknowledged that Climate Change is the greatest threat to our planet. It is everyone’s responsibility to do whatever they can to reduce the effects of climate change and the Council will also be doing all it can to help protect our precious planet, its environment and our wildlife for generations to come.”