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Agenda item

Climate Change Strategy & Update

The Committee will be asked to consider the draft Climate Change Strategy and provide any comments and feedback to assist in developing a finalised strategy.

Minutes:

Officers introduced the update on the Council’s Climate Change Strategy. They noted that the Climate Change strategy would show the need to act immediately and a pathway for the city to make a 54% reduction in carbon emissions on 2019 levels.

To achieve the Council’s net zero carbon ambition would require the city to go beyond the emissions reduction of the pathway.

 

Officers also confirmed that it would be Full Council  and not the Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change who would approve the final strategy. It was confirmed that the  approval of the final strategy had been delayed. This was due to a delay from the Council’s Economic Strategy, which had been planned to be completed alongside the Climate Change Strategy so that the strategies could work in tandem.

 

The Committee noted its disappointment that a full action plan outlining  required actions to be taken to achieve the targeted 54% carbon reductions across the city was no included within the strategy. Members noted the benefit that such an action plan could have even if actions could not currently be costed or were outside of the Council’s primary control. They also gave examples of how other local authorities had created strategies with additional detail on how they would deliver against targets.

 

Officers confirmed that specific actions plans, which were separate to the consideration of the Climate Change Strategy, had been considered. Members were informed that progress review of current and future actions undertaken and planned for the next 18 months, would be discussed at the 11 May 2022 Executive Member for Environment and Climate Change. It was confirmed that the decision on these actions could be brought to the Committee for scrutiny.

 

Members noted that it was necessary to include and engage local residents when tackling Climate Change and that the Council needed to focus on widening participation. The Chair of the York Climate Commission would be in attendance at the Committee’s July meeting, which would give the Committee the opportunity to discuss with the Chair of the Commission how they could include residents groups and trade unions in its meetings. Members also discussed engagement with local residents in the city to ensure that groups such as disabled residents were not left behind when taking actions to reduce carbon emissions.

 

Members highlighted the importance of performance measurements in regards to the Council’s actions to reduce emissions. This would allow the Council to understand the level of impact its actions were having as well as  providing further evidence when identifying gaps in funding that were required to meet the Council’s carbon reduction goals.

 

It was noted that the Council’s current plans would not be compliant with the Paris Climate Accord and Members considered how investment and funding could be accessed to try and achieve the objectives set out in Paris. Members also discussed whether the Council could explore its own investments in new technology and services that could reduce carbon emissions and generate a profit for the Council which could be invested back into Council services.

 

Resolved:

 

                      i.         18 month action plan be added to the Committee’s work plan for its meeting on the 20 July 2022.

 

Reason:     To ensure the Committee has the opportunity to scrutinise the Council’s carbon reduction actions against the developing Climate Change Strategy. 

Supporting documents:

 

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