Agenda item

Surrey Climate Change Strategy

Approval of Climate Change Strategic Priorities and actions contained within the accompanying action document.  To continue working on scoping the delivery plan – timelines, costs and ownership.

 

[The decisions on this item can be called in by the Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee]

Decision:

RESOLVED:

 

1.    That the Surrey’s Climate Change Strategy be endorsed, and its associated actions approved.

 

2.    That the continued development of the actions contained within the strategy to identify clear ownership, appropriate levels of funding and a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) by 2021 that can provide for robust monitoring be supported. Where required any respective projects and programmes will be brought back to Cabinet with costed delivery plans for approval.

 

3.    That the continued engagement of the Council with boroughs and districts, with the intention of achieving joint endorsement across the 12 authorities be supported.

 

4.    That further engagement of residents and key stakeholders with the Strategy and actions, so that collective action may be taken to achieve the outlined ambition be supported.

 

5.    That the publication of our progress annually against our targets, with a complete review of the Strategy every five years be supported. Any minor changes outside this time frame will be approved by the leader in consultation with the borough and district authorities.

 

6.    That the Select Committee recommendation to investigate mechanisms for joint oversight and monitoring of the Climate Change Strategy impact and delivery be supported.

 

Reason for decision:

 

Surrey’s Climate Change Strategy enables us to deliver on Surrey’s net zero carbon emissions ambition and build the resilience of our communities to the impacts of climate change.

 

The potential implications if we do nothing to address climate change in Surrey include increased risk of flooding and extreme heat, disruption to our critical infrastructure, networks and businesses, and increased risk to our health and wellbeing.

 

Not only will the implementation of the actions contained within the strategy help to reduce the potentially negative and far-ranging impacts of climate change, it will also have substantial co-benefits including improved health and wellbeing, e.g. from reductions in air pollution, the potential for job creation and investment in Surrey’s green economy, and more local, sustainably produced food.

 

Further, baseline emissions research for Surrey, produced by researchers at Leeds University, has identified that there are a number of proven cost-effective and technically viable carbon reduction options that Surrey’s local authorities could deliver in addition to the County Council’s existing capital programme to reduce carbon emissions. These savings will be achieved across a range of stakeholders, from residents to businesses and public sector partners and could total £1.32 billion per annum by 2050 in savings on energy bills against a Business as Usual scenario (BAU).

 

Whilst the impacts of COVID19 on the County and the Government’s response, including the facilitation of social distancing, will not change the ambition of the strategy, they will need to be considered against the actions identified to deliver the strategy.

 

[The decisions on this item can be called in by the Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee]

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Environment & Waste introduced the proposed Surrey’s Climate Change Strategy that set out the intended approach to delivering its climate change ambitions over the next thirty years. It provided a joint framework for collaborative action across Surrey’s 12 local authorities to reduce emissions to net zero between now and 2050.  The Strategy specifically committed Surrey County Council to reducing carbon emissions from its own corporate estate to net zero by 2030.  This target, although challenging, could be achieved as these emissions fall completely within the Council’s control.

 

He went on to explain that a two-page summary document would be published on the Council’s website and that the strategy had eight major themes which would each have two or three priorities for.  Work on the delivery plan was underway. He emphasised the impact the strategy would have on everyone who worked or travelled within the county and the major cultural shift needed.  He gave thanks to staff for pulling the information together and in particular the Project Manager, Esme Stallard.

 

In response to the questions from the Cabinet Team the Cabinet Member for Environment & Waste explained that:

 

  1. The Government would need to produce its own strategy and invest in greener futures.  He would need to ask the Government to support the Council’s Strategy and would continue to speak with Government regarding support.
  2. In order to get residents signed up to this and involved there had been various community engagement exercises including a survey, focus meeting and workshops.  Various meetings had taken place with businesses and the Chamber of Commerce.  The district and borough councils would be instrumental in the success of the strategy and the need to keep the momentum.
  3. District and boroughs had been instrumental in shaping the strategy and the newly formed Surrey Leaders Group had set the strategic direction of the strategy using a partnership approach.  Councils had been very positive and it was hoped they would adopt the strategy. This was not a one size fits all strategy and different councils would have different priorities dependent on their locations.  Work would continue with district and boroughs on key performance indicators etc.
  4. The strategy would be benchmarked according to scientific evidence and Leeds University would use the public information going forward.  They were to hold a workshop with borough and district councils to explain how they shaped the data.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

  1. That the Surrey’s Climate Change Strategy be endorsed, and its associated actions approved.

 

  1. That the continued development of the actions contained within the strategy to identify clear ownership, appropriate levels of funding and a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) by 2021 that can provide for robust monitoring be supported. Where required any respective projects and programmes will be brought back to Cabinet with costed delivery plans for approval.

 

  1. That the continued engagement of the Council with boroughs and districts, with the intention of achieving joint endorsement across the 12 authorities be supported.

 

  1. That further engagement of residents and key stakeholders with the Strategy and actions, so that collective action may be taken to achieve the outlined ambition be supported.

 

  1. That the publication of our progress annually against our targets, with a complete review of the Strategy every five years be supported. Any minor changes outside this time frame will be approved by the leader in consultation with the borough and district authorities.

 

  1. That the Select Committee recommendation to investigate mechanisms for joint oversight and monitoring of the Climate Change Strategy impact and delivery be supported.

 

Reason for decision:

 

Surrey’s Climate Change Strategy enables us to deliver on Surrey’s net zero carbon emissions ambition and build the resilience of our communities to the impacts of climate change.

 

The potential implications if we do nothing to address climate change in Surrey include increased risk of flooding and extreme heat, disruption to our critical infrastructure, networks and businesses, and increased risk to our health and wellbeing.

 

Not only will the implementation of the actions contained within the strategy help to reduce the potentially negative and far-ranging impacts of climate change, it will also have substantial co-benefits including improved health and wellbeing, e.g. from reductions in air pollution, the potential for job creation and investment in Surrey’s green economy, and more local, sustainably produced food.

 

Further, baseline emissions research for Surrey, produced by researchers at Leeds University, has identified that there are a number of proven cost-effective and technically viable carbon reduction options that Surrey’s local authorities could deliver in addition to the County Council’s existing capital programme to reduce carbon emissions. These savings will be achieved across a range of stakeholders, from residents to businesses and public sector partners and could total £1.32 billion per annum by 2050 in savings on energy bills against a Business as Usual scenario (BAU).

 

Whilst the impacts of COVID19 on the County and the Government’s response, including the facilitation of social distancing, will not change the ambition of the strategy, they will need to be considered against the actions identified to deliver the strategy.

 

Supporting documents: