New role underlines commitment to tackling climate change

14 February 2020

A new role created at South Lakeland District Council has further underlined the authority's commitment to tackling climate change.

Hannah Girvan has been taken on as a specialist sustainability co-ordinator to turn actions identified in SLDC's Climate Change Action Plan into reality.

Hannah said: "We are working within a timeframe with climate change that needs drastic action. In 2018 the UN’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned we have just 12 years to change in order to keep any rise in temperature to 1.5C. Higher than this will significantly increase the impact of drought, flooding, extreme heat and poverty for millions around the world. Will 2020 be the year we start to see that we can all make a difference, together?

"I hope that South Lakeland can lead by example, facilitating, enabling and supporting partners, local businesses and residents to embrace a low carbon future"

"By exploring the possibilities, changes that make a difference can include things as simple as using the Ecosia internet search engine, which donates 80 per cent of its proceeds to non-profit organisations that focus on global reforestation.”

Hannah added: "It is clear how committed SLDC is to this issue, with a real drive and enthusiasm for making a difference both within the council and beyond."

Originally from north Cumbria, Hannah taught geography for 10 years and did a masters degree in environmental management. She worked in Costa Rica, where nearly 100 per cent of their electricity comes from renewable energy, before returning to county.

Councillor Dyan Jones, Portfolio Holder for Climate Change and Localism, said: "South Lakeland District Council has consistently shown itself to be an authority of action on climate change and protecting biodiversity and Hannah's appointment is another example of this.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us but we are all committed and determined, and Hannah's drive and expertise will be crucial factors in our success."

SLDC’s Climate Change Action Plan has three strands; areas where SLDC has direct control (for example energy usage in its buildings and business travel), where it has influence but not direct control (for example, planning and waste collection) and areas of influence where SLDC can act as an enabler (for example, assisting a community group to install solar panels on a village hall, potential community energy schemes or simply encouraging businesses to become greener).

The action plan is based on information and ideas gathered at Climate Conversations held with residents throughout the district.

The next round of public Climate Conversations with SLDC Leader, Councillor Giles Archibald and Cllr Jones, start later this month, all starting at 7pm.

The dates are:

27 February, Main Hall at Victoria Hall, Grange-over-Sands;

4 March, Supper Room at Coronation Hall, Ulverston;

11 March, Assembly Room at Kendal Town Hall;

17 March, Millennium Room at the Marchesi Centre, Windermere.


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