Despite global, nation and local efforts to reduction carbon emissions, we understand we need to be prepared for the damaging effects of climate change in the future. Warwickshire County Council have updated our understanding of the risk of changes in climate and extreme weather events by working with Local Partnerships and the UK Climate Impacts Programme based at the University of Oxford. We use the most up to date localised dataset to understand possible changes over likely emission trajectories. Our next step is to apply these findings to update our risk assessments and action plans for service areas so that we are in the best place to take account of future weather events in our decision making.
In the meantime, we have dramatically increased our efforts to minimise our carbon footprint and the impact that it has on the rapidly changing climate. This has included:
- ensuring that considerations of climate underpin all council decision making
- assessing and targeting reductions in carbon emissions from our estate (this includes buildings, streetlighting and vehicle fleets)
- reducing the emissions from our streetlights by 72% compared with 2014/15 by installing LED lanterns and through strategies to adjust light levels
- current and planned projects to improve building insulation, replace gas boilers with efficient electric systems and install further solar PV systems
- buying only 100% green energy
- encouraging staff and residents to explore active travel (walking/cycling) for short journeys
- delivering 55 twin-headed electric vehicle charging points across Warwickshire, in partnership with our district and borough councils
- introducing a fleet of 10 new school buses which each include their own solar panel array and battery storage to power ancillary services, which dramatically reduces fuel consumption
- launching the £1 million Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund, which has already successfully spent £600,000 on projects across Warwickshire
- helping residents to access best price home solar and battery storage through the Solar Together scheme
- signing up to the UK100 pledge on carbon reduction
- making the commitment to plant a tree for every Warwickshire resident, currently estimated at 585,000
The environment was a key theme in our recent consultation to inform the development of a new Local Transport Plan.
Local Transport Plan (LTP) - Key themes consultation.
Our climate change communications plan exists to:
- report on Warwickshire County Council actions to reduce carbon emissions and our progress towards our net zero goal;
- raise awareness with Warwickshire residents and businesses of the opportunities and threats brought about by climate change;
- encourage residents and businesses to adapt behaviours that will mitigate against the impacts of climate change;
- provide effective community leadership in addressing the climate change agenda across Warwickshire alongside other public services, the voluntary and private sector.
We will do this through a number of different channels, including: