Next Steps and monitoring performance
On agreement of the strategy the Climate Emergency Task Group will formulate an action plan detailing those short term, medium term and long term actions that will be undertaken in order to deliver the strategy in an efficient and timely manner.
The action plan will establish clear targets and measures of progress as well as annual reporting processes. In deciding the priorities within the action plan, early consideration will be given to those actions which can deliver the largest ongoing reduction in carbon emissions, so reducing the carbon footprint for the Borough between 2020 and 2030, a concept illustrated in Figure 9, below.
Figure 9 - Carbon footprint reduction options for 2020 - 2030
The blue line shows the early adopter method, with carbon emissions reducing substantially in the first few years. Conversely, the late adopter method (in red) shows a slower start with larger improvements towards the end of the decade.
Both routes would lead the net zero result by 2030 but the final carbon footprint for the decade, the areas below the lines in the graph, is significantly less if those large improvements are made early in the decade.
Therefore, in addition to the aim of 2030 carbon neutrality we must also consider, in devising the action plan, those matters that will make the largest change and be ready to implement those at the earliest opportunity.
This will have the result of lowering the final carbon footprint for the Borough over the course of the decade. This approach is not fully within the gift of the Local Authority to determine. For example, a significant change will come with the retro-fitting of heating mechanisms within the existing residential dwellings of the Borough.
This is likely to require national Government intervention to make it an affordable proposition for many residents. At this time we do not know if or when such a national scheme will be launched. However, as a council what we are able to do is:
- Lobby national Government for the provision of assistance to property owners
- Ensure we are placed to apply for funding when it does become available
- Look to alternative private organisations that may provide retrofitting at affordable rates
- Work with residents to improve the thermal efficiency of their homes in the meantime, e.g. through loft and wall insulation
- Work with colleges and businesses to ensure that if / when a mass scheme is launched, we have enough suitable qualified fitters in the region to meet local demand
Such actions would ensure that, whilst we can't govern the date of commencement for such projects, we are in a position to commence with them at the very earliest opportunity.
Once the action plan has been agreed this will be used as the basis for guidance and training for elected members and staff on integrating the climate emergency into decision making.
Our prioritisation of the climate emergency will be integrated into all induction training for elected members and staff.
The strategy and action plan will be used to formulate awareness campaigns to raise awareness of mitigation measures they can put into practice in the work place or at home.
At all times the Council will seek to adopt best practice, share its knowledge and encourage others within the Borough to operate in a sustainable manner.
Performance / Monitoring
Each year, the Council will calculate its carbon emissions using Scopes 1 and 2. These findings, along with improvements made and recommended actions, will be reported to full Council.
In addition, the Council will update the calculations for the Borough, showing progress over time. This will also be reported to full Council.
One Carbon World suggested that 'to effectively monitor the carbon footprint of South Ribble Council over time, it is also recommended that a relevant performance indicator is chosen e.g. tonnes CO2e per employee'
Achieving the targets set out in the Climate Emergency Strategy and Action Plan will be a challenge and the Council will need to be able to calculate its carbon emissions and understand the impacts of all new major plans, policies and projects.
The Climate Emergency Task Group will provide an annual update on progress against the strategy and action plan. This will also include planned improvements to the strategy based on emerging technology, external funding sources available, and the sharing of best practice.
In order to enable these actions, the Council has, in 2020, specifically reserved £250k for climate emergency actions.