Chichester District Council’s Cabinet declared a climate emergency at its meeting on 9 July.

The council’s Environment Panel will now work on developing a detailed action plan to address climate change and consider options for funding a Climate Emergency Officer.

The Climate Change Emergency Action Plan will aim to deliver measurable carbon reduction within the Chichester District, for example reducing energy demand or increasing the use of renewable energy. It will also demonstrate how local action can contribute to achieving the climate emergency target of achieving zero net carbon by 2050 and meeting the UK’s national and international commitments.

Carbon reduction is already a key focus in many areas of the council’s work. New policies are currently being proposed to set standards for sustainable construction, energy efficiency and water usage in new developments through the Local Plan Review. Policies for sustainable drainage and flooding and wildlife corridors will also form part of this work.

The council’s Air Quality Action Plan also aims to reduce carbon emissions through the development of new walking and cycling infrastructure and the installation of electric vehicle charging points across the district.

The council hopes to secure funding for carbon reduction projects from Homes England as part of the Zero Carbon Graylingwell project. The Environment Panel will identify and evaluate the priority areas for delivering carbon reduction initiatives and identify the necessary resources and funding before reporting back to Cabinet in January 2020.

“Reducing carbon emissions is an urgent but complicated issue,” says Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for Environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council. “By declaring a climate emergency, we have taken the first step to tackling this issue and we hope that the implementation of our action plan will have a significant impact locally on reducing carbon emissions and the effects of climate change.”