Runnymede Borough Council has taken a decisive step towards achieving Carbon Net Zero by 2030, after Councillors approved the new Climate Change Strategy at the October Full Council.
The Climate Change Strategy is the Council’s roadmap to reducing its carbon emissions in line with the Government's Net Zero targets. The strategy draws together several years of work and research and outlines the steps that will be taken to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change.
Councillor Tom Gracey, Council Leader said:
This strategy is an essential part of our progress as both we as the Council, and the whole Borough community, moves towards a cleaner, greener future.
The Runnymede Climate Change Strategy is a living document which will be continuously added to and will evolve over time. It is at the heart of how we will work together with our residents and external stakeholders to tackle the greatest challenge of our age.
The objectives that have come out of this strategy are most notably to reduce Carbon emissions from Council operations to Net Zero by 2030, but also to positively influence our environment by embedding climate change avoidance and mitigation, and to promote sustainability and conservation of biodiversity in all Council decisions and actions.
The Council has already taken a number of positive measures on climate change, which are listed in the strategy as ongoing actions.
New actions include
- Supporting communities to take positive action by sharing event information, education, grants, support for voluntary initiatives and signposting sources of funding.
- Focusing on creating and supporting localised services that adhere to the ‘20 minute principle’ – bringing essential services within easy reach of local communities by walking, cycling and public transport.
- Working together with other public sector organisations such as Surrey County Council and our neighbouring boroughs to adopt a joint approach.
- Empowering our members and staff to show leadership and demonstrate best practices in what they do. The Council’s commitment will be demonstrated by how we push ourselves beyond our comfort zone to operate in new ways without compromising our standards.
Councillor Nigel King, Chair of Environment and Sustainability Committee said:
Going forward from this strategy, the aim to reduce our impact on the climate will permeate all of our activities and functions as a Council. We are well placed to make a difference to this area, and we can and should show leadership.
This has been a cross party initiative which all councillors should be proud of. Our aim is to align climate change actions and environmental improvements with economic gain, ensuring that our residents live in a Borough where quality of life and commitment to the climate align now, and in future generations. We will encourage public transport use, reduce household and commercial waste, encourage recycling and minimise plastic use. We will also embrace alternative technologies to power our vehicles, such as providing electric vehicle charging points, and embracing hydrogen-based fuel technologies.
We are custodians of the land in our borough, we owe it to of those who follow us to fight for our climate.
As part of the strategy, the Council is working on establishing the ‘Runnymede Standard Carbon Baseline’, to measure all future work and emissions against in order to be able to assess the success of the steps to be taken.
Responsibility for delivery of the strategy sits with the Leader of the Council with operational delivery being steered through the Chief Executive’s Office. This is to highlight to residents, stakeholders and staff the level of importance the Council attaches to it. The aim is also to recognise that change can only be achieved at the necessary scale if it is embedded within every aspect of our operations.
You can read the full Climate Change Strategy on our website.
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