Council declares climate emergency
East Hampshire District Council has officially declared a climate emergency and announced how it
will continue to take urgent, positive and deliverable steps to reduce its impact on the environment.
Councillors pledged to work across political parties to achieve a list of ‘ambitious and achievable’
targets and build on its long-standing environmental track record.
Among the objectives are the appointment of a Climate Change Champion, retrofitting homes with
energy-saving improvements and planting a tree for every resident in the district.
At its Full Council meeting on Thursday 18 July, EHDC pledged to renew its environment and energy
strategy with actions that will reduce its carbon emissions and promote sustainable business
The strategy will ensure that all council services focus on environmental issues as part of everyday
decision-making. It will promote sustainable building standards through the council’s planning and
building standards work and will influence and collaborate with other public bodies to deliver the UK
government Climate Change Act target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The council’s retrofit programme, subsidising the installation of energy-saving measures such as
insulation, double glazing – which has already seen £1 million of works carried out – will be further
promoted to residents.
The council will also seek to remove carbon from the environment with an ambitious tree-planting
programme which will see 120,000 trees planted across East Hampshire – one for each resident in
A cross-party working group will be set up, headed by a Climate Change Champion drawn from the
opposition parties, with a remit to include views and ideas from across the community.
Councillor Richard Millard, Leader of East Hampshire District Council, said: “We will work together to
ensure the results we have set out are achieved. We must look to the future and the kind of
environment we will be handing on to future generations. We must take action now, before it is too
late, to ensure real improvement in the lives of our children and grandchildren.
“This council has a strong track record on environmental issues having drawn up its Green Town
Vision for the regeneration of Whitehill & Bordon in 2003, our pool cars are electric and we have
installed electric vehicle charging points in Petersfield, Liphook and Alton.
“A local authority only has power over its own estate but we will get our own house in order through
a set of ambitious but achievable targets that will reduce this council’s impact on the environment
and demonstrate to others what can and must be done.”
Cllr Steve Hunt, lead of East Hampshire’s Liberal Democrat Party, said: “We have no doubt that the
world is facing a climate emergency and it is every councillor’s responsibility to play its part in
“This is not all we will do but it is a start and, just as importantly, demonstrates the council’s will and
intention to tackle climate change head on.
“This is the issue which unites us all and councillors of all political persuasions will work together to
meet this challenge.”
The council will also campaign for government funding to improve local environmental projects and
influence partner organisations such as councils, schools and businesses to reduce their
It will also take a greater role in education and leadership, visiting schools and involve young people
in tackling climate change.