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Cabinet recommends climate change policy for adoption

8 February 2019

We have made a commitment to tackling climate change.

Cabinet approved a policy on climate change which it is recommending for adoption as part of our policy framework – focussing on how we can lead the way and encourage others to take action.

The policy is a public recognition of the importance of climate change, an awareness of the economic and other opportunities offered by both tackling and adapting to meet the challenge of climate change and a series of ways in which we could reflect the importance of climate change both in how we manage ourselves and how we work with partners at a local, regional and national level.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, deputy leader and portfolio holder for housing, people and innovation, said: “South Lakeland is a great place to work, to live and to explore but we live as part of an increasingly inter-connected world and we must take steps to reduce pollution, waste and unnecessary use of resources. Therefore it is crucial that we have a very clear policy on climate change for this council.

“SLDC has a Green Team of designated officers working to identify how the council can make more energy efficiencies, whilst looking at ways of supporting communities to reduce energy and help protect the environment, and this policy is a further recognition that we as a council take this issue very seriously.”

The policy says: “South Lakeland District Council acknowledges that climate change is occurring, that man-made greenhouse gas emissions are a primary cause and that climate change will continue to have far reaching effects on people and places, the economy, society and environment in the district, across the UK and across the world.

“South Lakeland District Council seeks to maximise the social, economic and environmental benefits which come from combating, and developing resilience to, climate change and developing a sustainable economy. South Lakeland District commits to playing its part in meeting emissions targets set internationally and through UK Carbon budgets. South Lakeland District Council will work in partnership to respond at a local level, encouraging and helping local residents, local businesses and other organisations to reduce their energy costs, to reduce congestion, to adapt to the impacts of climate change, to improve the local environment and to deal with fuel poverty in our communities.”

Councillor Dyan Jones, portfolio holder for the environment, said: “This is a fine example of collaborative working. Tackling climate change is not something we can or should be doing alone and to recognise the wider implications along with the local ones is vital. It is our responsibility as individuals and as an authority to lead the way in our communities.

“I am proud and excited to be involved in our work with partners and residents to help enhance and protect our high-quality environment.”

The policy sets out the following council commitments:

  • Work with central government, county and neighbouring councils national park authorities and other stakeholders, to contribute, at a local level, to the delivery of the target for carbon dioxide reduction set out in the UK Carbon budget by 2022 and other local and regional carbon reduction targets;
  • Participate in local and regional networks for support;
  • Develop plans and support projects with partners and local communities to progressively address the causes and the impacts of climate change, according to our local priorities, securing maximum benefit for our communities;
  • Publicly declare, within appropriate plans and strategies, the commitment to achieve a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from our own authority's operations, especially energy sourcing and use, travel and transport, waste production and disposal and the purchasing of goods and services;
  • Assess the risk associated with climate change and the implications for services and our communities of climate change impacts and adapt accordingly;
  • Encourage all sectors in our local community to take the opportunity to adapt to the impacts of climate change, to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions and to make public their commitment to action;
  • Monitor the progress of our plans against the actions needed and publish the result.
  • Work with others to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

Our commitment against climate change forms part of our Green Team's action list. The team is a group of dedicated officers which is re-evaluating what we are doing to make energy efficiencies, promote alternative sustainable travel and support the community to reduce energy and protect the environment.

The work also includes:

  • Investigating the installation of solar panels on as many council buildings as possible
  • Supporting schemes which promote energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • Continuing to monitor our operational carbon footprint
  • Promoting cycling and walking as an alternative to travelling by car
  • Maximising the use of social media to inform residents of best practise, including weekly tips on waste minimisation and energy efficiency changes to make around the home
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