Our climate commitment
At its Full Council meeting on Wednesday 24 July 2019, East Suffolk Council voted unanimously to step up its positive work on environmental issues to help fight climate change.
It has joined other local authorities in recognising the fact that there is a climate emergency and committed itself to doing more to reduce its own carbon emissions and to encourage communities to help fight climate change.
- The council commissioned an independent review of its progress to-date identifying opportunities for further work to reduce carbon emissions which will feed into the development of a new Climate Action Plan that will help us monitor progress towards meeting this challenging new target.
- The council has set up a new cross-party member Environment Task Group to consider the results of that independent review and to recommend future priorities for action on climate change, building on the progress that has already been achieved.
- The council will continue to work with its partners across the county to ensure a coordinated approach, joint working in areas where we can deliver more by working together and to ensure a strong voice to influence and encourage others to act.
What have we achieved already?
- The Environmental Guidance Note has been produced to offer clear, concise information on a range of key environmental issues relating to the building industry, assisting those seeking to mitigate the contribution of construction to climate change and its impact on the environment by offering support and advice. It was endorsed by the Council on 25 November 2020.
- We have moved to new more energy efficient council offices in Melton and Lowestoft which are more compact, well insulated, and utilise renewable energy sources, including air-source heat pumps at East Suffolk House and solar photovoltaics (PV) at Riverside.
- As part of the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership, we have helped businesses and residents to reduce their energy bills through free advice and improvement grants.
- We are refurbishing our leisure facilities, building in renewable energy generation.
- Alongside the East Suffolk Greenprint Forum, we have been running awareness raising campaigns across the district to improve air quality and reduce plastic waste and littering.
The motion unanimously agreed by Full Council is:
“This council pledges to:
- declare a climate emergency
- set up a Cross Party Task Group, commencing by October 2019, to investigate ways to cut East Suffolk Council’s carbon and harmful emissions on a spend to save basis, with ambition to make East Suffolk Council (including all buildings and services) carbon neutral by 2030. The Cross Party Task Group will report on their progress on a quarterly basis
- work with Suffolk County Council and other partners across the county and region, including the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the public sector leaders, towards the aspiration of making the county of Suffolk carbon neutral by 2030
- To work with Government to a) deliver its 25 year Environmental Plan and b) increase the powers and resources available to local authorities in order to make the 2030 target easier to achieve.”