A Warwickshire that is sustainable 
now and for future generations

WCC is reminding residents that climate change is not just a remote, global issue and that local action is also needed to face the many challenges of the climate change emergency.

With the UN Climate Change Conference – more commonly known as COP27 – well underway in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Warwickshire County Council is reminding residents of our commitment to playing our part in tackling the biggest threat facing life on our planet.

The COP27 summit is taking place from 6 to 18 November and brings together world leaders, businesses, non-government organisations, scientists and climate activists to accelerate action toward goals on climate change.

Since it declared a climate emergency in 2019, Warwickshire County Council has been ensuring that concerns of sustainability are taken into account in its decision-making processes.

The Council has been focusing its activity on climate change mitigation and adaptation to ensure that Warwickshire is a county with a sustainable future, which is one of its key strategic priorities.

The Council has already started work towards its goals of reducing its own carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 and to support and lead Warwickshire as a county to do the same by 2050 or earlier, if at all possible.

Cllr Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Heritage. Climate and Culture, said: “You will all have seen the headlines coming out of COP27 in Egypt on a daily basis over the last week. Some of you might be wondering: what does that mean for me, in Warwickshire? The answer is everything. Climate change is having, and will continue to have, a huge impact on all our lives that will only increase unless we can, as a species, mitigate and adapt to it.

“If this summer of searing heat has taught us anything, it’s that the effects of climate change are not someone else’s problem, something happening elsewhere in the world. This is our challenge to face, its happening here in the UK and, indeed, the effects are being seen in Warwickshire. It might be a global problem, but it requires a local response and we all have a role to play in making changes for the greater good of our planet and all its life.

“In Warwickshire, our next big step on the climate change journey is to invite Warwickshire residents and businesses to share their feedback on our draft Sustainable Futures Strategy. This public engagement period will be open from the end of November to mid-January. I hope as many people as possible take the time to give us their views on the Strategy as, it is only together that we can create a Warwickshire that is sustainable now and for future generations.”

Progress towards these important targets have been made through a variety of schemes and initiatives that include the following:

Electric Vehicle charging – Over the last 18 months, the Council has been successful in submitting bids to secure approximately £800k of grants and investment to help improve EV charging availability in Warwickshire. As a result of securing this funding, it has been able to deliver 170 7kw charge points, across 26 charging hubs located in a mixture of locations across the County.

The combined public and private charge point installations have had a significant positive impact. Warwickshire’s position compared to the English average has moved from below to above the England average over the period 2020-2022 with an average of 51.6 charging devices per 100,000 people in population across the County.

Find out more: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/roads-transport/charge-points-electric-vehicles

Active Travel – The Council is actively encouraging residents to ditch their cars for short journeys (less than 5 miles) and to choose active travel alternatives such as walking or cycling.

In order to makes active travel possible and desirable for residents, the Council is investing significant amounts of money in active travel schemes across the county. One such high profile scheme is the Kenilworth to Leamington Cycling Route, which will develop a new five-kilometer cycle track between Kenilworth and Leamington Spa. Find out more: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/major-transport-construction-projects/a452-kenilworth-leamington-spa-cycle-route-k2l

Tree-Planting – The Council is committed to planting a tree for every resident in Warwickshire, close to 600,000 new trees will restore sections of forests that have been long lost to time such as the ancient forest of Arden.

In order to meet this need for trees and to keep the carbon footprint of the trees that are planted low, the Council is creating the UK’s first Local Authority-owned tree nursery that will supply Warwickshire’s need for trees for generations. Find out more: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/news/article/3250/the-warwickshire-tree-nursery-planting-for-our-future

The Green Shoots Fund – The fund, at £1 Million, is the largest fund of its type offered by a Local Authority in the UK and has already been used to fund a variety of community and voluntary sector climate change projects across Warwickshire.

Find out more: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/regeneration-projects/green-shoots-community-climate-change-fund-2022

The Sustainable Futures Strategy – Warwickshire County Council’s Sustainable Futures Strategy has been developed to set out the steps to deliver on the Council’s commitment to be a net zero carbon Council by 2030; the roadmap to Warwickshire becoming net zero by 2050; the Council’s biodiversity commitments; and its commitment to support and deliver on the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).

An extensive period of public engagement will begin the week commencing 21 November and run until the middle of January 2023. This will be an opportunity for residents, businesses and other key stakeholders to have their say on the draft strategy and help to shape the wider Warwickshire conversation around climate change.

For more information about how Warwickshire is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/

Get the latest news about how Warwickshire County Council and partners are facing the challenge of the climate emergency and how you can get involved: http://eepurl.com/hrk-zf

Published: 11th November 2022