Suffolk Public Sector Leaders agree £1.5 million for climate emergency plan in bid to make county carbon neutral by 2030
A seven-figure countywide action plan to tackle the climate crisis has been agreed by public service chiefs.
The Suffolk Public Sector Leaders group of health, police, council and business bosses agreed £1.5million from pooled business rates to be used on a cross-council climate emergency plan, which sets out a route map for the county to be carbon neutral by 2030.
The strategy, which was commissioned by leaders last year, was published for the first time last week and revolves around the key themes of producing cleaner power; managing industrial and commercial energy use; switching to low carbon transport options; providing sustainable homes and fostering collaborative action.
It features more than 100 measures, including:
- A minimum sustainability standard for workers carrying out public sector contracts
- Retrofit energy efficiency options in homes and public buildings
- Develop incentives for people to adopt heat pumps in their homes
- Upgrade walking and cycling infrastructure on key routes
- Prioritise low-emission freight
- Develop means to utilise waste heat
All of the county's authorities have declared a climate emergency which means that each of those are already pursuing their own measures, with the new Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan effectively being an umbrella strategy.
Jill Korwin, chairwoman of the Suffolk Climate Change, Environment and Energy Board who has led the work, said it "sets out how we can pursue those net zero strategies not only within our own organisations but support the whole of Suffolk to go on that journey so that we can best set Suffolk on that path to carbon neutrality by 2030".
She added: "The communication and engagement about all of this is absolutely vital.
"What we know is we need to bring this plan to life - it is all very well writing down lots of words and having lots of actions, but the key is going to be in delivery. We know to deliver this we cannot do it on its own, and a key role we have is to encourage others to action.
"Inspiring and encouraging others to take action is a really important part of it."
Key goals of the plan are to educate others, leverage additional finance to deliver measures, monitor improvements and communicate them, promote community action and trigger further collaboration.
John Griffiths, West Suffolk Council leader, said: "Nobody can do this on their own.
"We are all doing great work and we can all learn from successes and other areas. And we can encourage others to join us because nobody can do this alone.
"I am extremely grateful and extremely encouraged by everybody who has been involved in this - I think it is a very exciting and effective plan.
"The other element I think is increasingly important is making sure we do continue to lobby government to help us in one of the best environmental counties there is."
To see the full plan visit www.greensuffolk.org/about/suffolk-climate-change-partnership/