District council's renewed commitment to tackling climate change

THE world has changed a great deal since Staffordshire Moorlands District Council declared a climate emergency 12 months ago - but the commitment to tackling climate change remains the same. The Council declared a climate emergency at a meeting on July 10 last year and, since then, has established the Climate Change sub-committee and agreed a work programme to help achieve a carbon neutral District by 2030. Key areas of work have included identifying opportunities for the Council to embed its commitment to net zero CO2 emissions in its policies and strategies and to investigate larger scale projects including: ·         Green energy - the potential for the Council to invest in solar energy projects and wind farms ·         Electric vehicle charging points ·         Local offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions Plans to set up a Staffordshire Moorlands Community Climate Change Fund of £10,000 to encourage community initiatives have also been agreed. And the Council was amongst the first to appoint a cabinet member, Coun Joe Porter, to lead on tackling climate change to recognise the priority it places on this work. Coun Porter, cabinet member for Climate Change and Biodiversity, said: "As with every other area of our lives and work, the measures to contain Covid-19 have had an impact on how quickly we have been able to deliver some of the key actions we had planned for the first half of this year. "But that does not mean we have been sitting still. Tackling climate change remains as important as it was before the pandemic and, if anything, the changes we have all made to our lives have raised the priority of this work for many people. "In the year since the council declared a climate emergency we've been laying the foundations for targeted and effective actions going forward. In practice, this means we've been increasing our knowledge of the science of climate change so we can better understand how to mitigate the impact and spending time building the strong partnerships with our industries and our communities that are critical to our joint success. "This is a once in a lifetime chance to change our behaviours and act on climate change and I'm proud of the ground we've covered so far. But this is work without end and we have much to do - I'm very much looking forward to getting on with it as the restrictions continue to gradually ease.



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