West Sussex County Council aims to be carbon neutral by 2030

A ten-year plan to address and adapt to the challenges of climate change has been set out by West Sussex County Council.

Electricity pylon (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Climate Change Strategy, which will be examined by a scrutiny committee next week before being formally adopted in July, sets out a vision that by 2030, the authority will be both carbon neutral and climate resilient.

Once the strategy is agreed the county council would then set out a delivery plan to show how it plans to lead, enable and inspire the change needed and how it will engage with communities to shape its actions.

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This follows the adoption of a notice of motion last year calling on the authority to show leadership, step up work to combat climate change and attempt to become carbon neutral by 2030.

A climate change advisory group was formed at the request of the cabinet member for the environment last year, involving members from all political parties, members of the West Sussex Youth Cabinet and invited community representatives from the South East Climate Alliance (SECA).

As well as hearing from officers next Wednesday, the environment and communities scrutiny committee will also hear from Dr Tony Whitbread, president of the Sussex Wildlife Trust and member of SECA.

Chairman of the committee, Andrew Barrett-Miles, said: “In April last year, full council recognised and acknowledged the threat of climate change and passed a motion pledging to try to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

“The Climate Change Strategy is the next important step in this process, recognising that our response needs to be much wider than carbon reduction. I look forward to hearing more detail about how the county council will work towards its goals over the next ten years.”

The strategy also notes that there are many lessons the council can take forward from how it has worked during the Covid-19 crisis and how it needs to take into account the longer term impacts of climate change as it recovers and move forward.

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