Council’s own plan of action
With the declaration of a climate emergency, we recognise the crucial role that local authorities can play in helping to reduce both the causes and impacts of climate change. It is important to us to reduce our own emissions and the impact our buildings and services have on the climate at both the local and national level.
A cross-party Climate Emergency Advisory Panel (CEAP) was established to conduct an audit of the Council’s current carbon footprint and develop a pathway to reach net zero by 2030.
The Council’s total carbon emissions for 2018/19 came to 3473.4 tonnes of carbon (tCO2e) per year. [Greenhouse gas emissions are reported in units of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). This allows the impact of each of the seven main greenhouse gasses to be expressed in terms of the amount of CO2 that would create the same amount of warming, allowing easy comparison of the impact of different emission types]. This is already an improvement on 2013/14, around a 40% reduction in emissions; the last time an assessment was undertaken, when the council reported a total of 6,046 tonnes of carbon (tCO2e) per year.
As a Council we recognise the importance of rapidly reducing our footprint to achieve our carbon neutral ambition by 2030, building and accelerating on the emissions reductions that have previously been achieved throughout the organisation.
Our Corporate Carbon Descent Plan & Action Plan outlines the Council’s vision for managing and reducing emissions arising from its own activities over the next 10 years. With a yearly action plan that is reviewed and updated annually.
The Corporate Carbon Descent and Action Plan was approved by Cabinet in March 2021.
The Cabinet report on 11 March 2021 also sets out the Climate Emergency Advisory Panel’s approach to citizen engagement and how it will proactively include young people in the process. The means by which we can ensure that our communities have a voice in shaping the future is considered and the various options, by setting up a Citizen’s Assembly as a way of also involving residents and businesses in the process.
Further details on Citizen’s Assembly can be found in the report of the Climate Emergency
Advisory Panel and the agenda for Full Council held on Wednesday 21 April 2021.
Council wide action on climate change
The next phase of action will be to develop a Borough wide strategy and shared vision to address both the direct and indirect sources of the emissions that are responsible for climate change. How we as a Council can support a reduction in ‘borough wide’ carbon emission.
To achieve these goals, Tunbridge Wells also recognises that we need action from the UK Government and the wider world.
Further details on this next phase of activity will be published on this webpage as it becomes available.
However, the Council already supports sustainable transport choices via the Tunbridge Wells Car Club and the electric vehicle charging. Equally, advice on energy saving and ‘solar together’ can be found on our energy advice pages.