Venue: County Hall, Matlock, DE4 3AG
Contact: Juliette Normington Email: Juliette.Normington@derbyshire.gov.uk
RESOLVED - to confirm the non-exempt minutes of the Improvement and Scrutiny - Climate Change, Biodiversity and Carbon Reduction meeting held on 26 July 2021.
(Questions may be submitted to be answered by the Scrutiny Committee, or Council officers who are attending the meeting as witnesses, on any item that is within the scope of the Committee. Please see the procedure for the submission of questions at the end of this agenda.)
There were no public questions.
The Committee was given a report and presentation on the Council’s draft Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan.
The Council had undertaken significant work on reducing emissions from the Council’s property, whilst working with partner organisations. It recognised a lot more had to be done to meet the ambition of being a net zero Council by 2032, or sooner, and in ensuring the county was net zero by 2050.
Through a series of workshops it had identified that the development of an overarching strategy and action plan should be a key priority. Consultants, Arup, were commissioned to develop this and engaged with internal and external stakeholders. The Strategy would be used to direct the associated programme of work for the Council in the short, medium and longer term.
The Strategy contained 28 priority targets across five key themes which supported by over 120 supplementary actions, initiatives and projects over the period 2021-25, being reviewed and updated fully in 2025 to provide a Strategy beyond that. Annual reviews of the targets and priority actions would be conducted along with a review of any changes in central government legislation, policy and direction, and significant technological advances.
The Strategy was scheduled to be presented to Cabinet on 14 October 2021, being launched and published thereafter, potentially as part of Derbyshire Country Council’s activities around the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26).
The presentation gave details on how the actions and priorities would be delivered through the establishment of Theme Teams, an easy-read version of the Strategy, the development of a climate change engagement plan, an annual formal progress report and the establishing of performance measures (these were detailed within the report).
If the Council did not have a Strategy and Action Plan in place, emissions across the county would not reduce sufficiently to achieve expected targets. The final action plan was considered achievable within the Council’s statutory duties and role as a community leader, subject to the necessary finances and resources being available. It also set out how the Council could use its influence supporting others to reduce emissions.
There was no statutory duty to engage on this development of the document however, it was the intention to engage more widely with Derbyshire’s businesses and communities on the delivery mechanisms of the Strategy.
Members commended the work that had gone into developing the Strategy. They also recognised that work had already started in achieving targets and the many challenges faced by the Council however, it welcomed regular feedback on the engagement process and the timescales involved.
RESOLVED – that the Committee (1) support delivery and publication of The Derbyshire County Council Climate Change Strategy: Achieving Net Zero (2021-2025);
(2) note the intention to present the Strategy to Cabinet on 14 October 2021 and to launch and publish the Strategy shortly thereafter; and
(3) request that monitoring reports against the progress of the delivery of the strategy are received and is informed about the outcomes of community engagement.