West Suffolk Council agrees environmental taskforce plans
The West Suffolk Green Party has backed council environmental plans including achieving net zero emissions by 2030, but called for more to be done on a community level.
During West Suffolk Council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday, it unanimously agreed to the proposals put forward by its Environment and Climate Change Taskforce in its final report.
These included creating a ‘carbon budget’ to help plan and execute its emissions plan and a range of actions on short-term, longer-term and wider activities across the area the council will do to combat its carbon footprint.
The councillors also agreed to declare a biodiversity and environmental emergency to the already existing climate change emergency.
Lisa Ingwall King, Green councillor for Abbeygate Ward and member of the taskforce, said: “The council has taken solid steps to manage and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to date but now it needs to engage with the communities and businesses of West Suffolk.
“I have pressed many times since September 2019 for the council to engage with the public and led a small workshop of people at the Green Fair in January.
“I am calling for my fellow councillors to join me in having frank discussions with the public, communities and businesses on the facts of climate change and biodiversity issues.”
The move by the council to the 2030 target is a major change from its previous aim, which was a 75 per cent reduction by 2050.
Talking at the meeting, chairwoman of the taskforce Cllr Rachel Hood, said: “The approach of the taskforce was that within the context of what is happening we set out to develop measures that are measurable, meaningful and achievable.
“I do want to pay tribute to the commitment of all the members and all the officers because this has been a very collective effort.
“I am confident that the existing processes the council has in place, the political leadership, performance reporting and the annual environmental statement supported by the proposed carbon budget process will ensure that our improved environmental performance will continue.”
The taskforce, which started in July 2019, will meet one more time before disbanding and leaving the council to follow the agreed plan.
More by this authorKevin Hurst
This website and its associated newspaper are members of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO)