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Friday, September 4, 2020

Climate change to play part in county council decision making

Denbighshire County Council will meet to discuss making climate change a guiding principle in its decision making process.

Last year the council declared a climate change and ecological emergency which included a commitment to make the authority net carbon zero by 2030, enhance biodiversity across the county and call on the Welsh and UK governments to provide assistance and resources to enable the council to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Full council is set to vote in October on amending its constitution so all decisions made have regard to tackling climate and ecological change.

Cllr Graham Timms, the council’s Climate Change and Ecological Emergency Working Group chair, said: “By having regard for tackling climate and ecological change in decision making we hope to limit the council’s impact on further exacerbating climate and ecological change and to maximise opportunities to make a positive contribution.  

“If the recommendation is approved we believe we will be the first council in Wales to take such a step and this shows the commitment the Council has made to tackling the climate change and ecological emergency.”

The recommendation will be put to the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee on September 9 and if approved, full council will vote on adopting the change to the constitution on October 13.

Cllr Brian Jones the Council’s Lead Member for Waste, Transport and the Environment, said: “Protecting the environment is a priority for the Council and during lockdown work has continued on ensuring the Council is reducing its carbon footprint and increasing biodiversity in the county.

“We have already achieved a lot, we have reduced carbon emissions from our buildings and fleet by 15 per cent since 2017, the council now only uses renewable electricity for its own buildings after switching to a renewable only energy provider for its schools, leisure centres, libraries, council offices and depots and we are over halfway to reaching our target of planting 18,000 trees by 2022.

“Our Climate and Ecological Change Strategy and Action Plan to get the council to net carbon zero and ecologically positive by 2030 which we engaged with the public on earlier this year will be ready early next year. We intend to consult with the public on the draft strategy in the autumn.”

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