Buckinghamshire Council has released and approved its strategy for addressing the climate change crisis in the county.

The Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy is the council’s new blueprint for how to help tackle climate change and improve air quality across the county. The aim is to make the whole county carbon-neutral or net-zero in terms of carbon emissions by 2050 and to ensure the concentration of air pollutants are at safe levels. The council also aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 75% by 2030.

The strategy sets out what the council will do and how it will work with partners and residents to achieve its aims. The strategy was created using feedback from a public survey undertaken in 2020 and other public engagement which all supported the councils desire to tackle climate change. The strategy includes proposals such as tree and hedgerow planting, rewilding, expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure and encouraging greener housing developments.

Peter Strachan, cabinet member for climate change and environment said “This is an important day for Buckinghamshire. Climate change is an issue that affects each and every one of us and we must take action now to tackle this crisis head-on.

As a council, we are committed to doing everything we can to reduce our own carbon emissions. The government has set a target for all local authorities to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Here in Buckinghamshire, we are aiming to reach our target well before that. We have carefully costed everything out and so we know that what we are proposing is both realistic and achievable. We fully hope to reach the target of net-zero carbon emissions much earlier than 2050.

We also need to work with all our partners and residents to encourage everyone to take responsibility and think about both the big and small things we can all do to make an impact and create positive change.”

The council has allocated a £5 million Climate Change Fund which will be used in a variety of ways including planting 543,000 trees, generating renewable energy and improving energy efficiency, reducing vehicle emissions, and improving active travel and electric vehicle infrastructure.

So far, initiatives previously introduced by Buckinghamshire Council and the previous county and district councils include upgrading 22,000 streetlights to more energy-efficient LEDs,  installing solar panels across 15 sites, installing EV charging points into public places such as car parks, and installing new cycling and walking routes across the county.

A key part of the new initiative is community involvement, and so Bucks Green Challenge has been created alongside the strategy to help local residents and communities realise the small daily changes which can be made to help the greater cause.

Image source- Buckinghamshire Council

© Eastern Echo (powered by ukpropertyforums.com).

Sign up to receive your free Eastern Echo newsletter every other week here.