Climate action reaffirmed in North Kesteven

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Image shows an inflatable globe hanging from the ceiling at the Council's marquee at Heckington Show. The marquee demonstrated many aspects of the Council's work to act on climate and engage with residents on this.
The globe as seen at the Council's marquee at Heckington Show, which demonstrated many aspects of the Council's work to act on climate and engage with residents on this.

The policies and plans set out by North Kesteven District Council in active response to climate change have been re-affirmed by councillors as they signal their clear intent to support residents to both greater environmental and financial sustainability.

Through their unanimous support of a motion brought to the Council for consideration at their meeting on Thursday, October 12, councillors reaffirmed that the policies set by the administration over recent years, in relation to sustainability and carbon net zero 2030 targets, remain their priority.

These include an aim for the Council’s operations to be carbon net-zero by 2030, to continue supporting the District in becoming carbon net-zero within the same timescale and the adoption, promotion and participation in a range of initiatives that progress that ambition.

In the last year alone, this has seen:

  • A further eight award-winning Council houses built to the highly-efficient Passivhaus standard.
  • Commitment of £27m to retro fit 900 Council homes with the worst energy efficiency ratings, a quarter of all stock.
  • New CO2-sy Homes build standards to ensure all new Council houses are net-zero in use.
  • Installation of 195 more PV solar panels on the Sleaford Council building, saving over 14 tonnes CO2 per year and reducing 21% electricity usage from grid.
  • Solar PV fitted to 79 Council houses.
  • Introduction of electric vehicles within the waste fleet.
  • Establishing the trailblazing Central Lincolnshire Local Plan to promote a carbon net-zero future for North Kesteven, West Lindsey and Lincoln and promote biodiversity protection and enhancement.
  • Opportunity for 300 businesses to improve their sustainability measures.
  • Providing an award-winning programme of energy efficiency improvements to local private homes, saving energy and money for residents.

The Council’s plans and strategies are aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 – a global to-do list delivered locally.

Council Leader, Cllr Richard Wright, introduced the Motion, saying: “In light of recent developments, revisions of timetables and strategies by central government, with regards to net zero policies, it is important that we signal to our residents that the local policies they have supported, have not been abandoned or watered down.

“We will continue to pursue the policies we have previously agreed, that not only benefit the environment, but also assist our residents in achieving warmer and more sustainable affordable homes and businesses to become more efficient, therefore investing in our local economy.

“As stated, many times, simply declaring a climate emergency is not enough and this motion supports the Administration’s carefully designed response to apply science, engineering and practical skills to the issue. Every step we take is timed, costed and has passed the vital tests of being practical, affordable and achievable.”

He added: “We have a clear intent, a comprehensive set of strategies, a robust action plan and a principle of connecting all of our objectives to the overall aim of a carbon net-zero Council and District by 2030. That has been established and strengthened over the past four years and gives us a clear view of where we need to be and how to get there.

“Every area has been given an estimate of what its level of emissions should be if we are to keep global warming within the limitations of the Paris Climate Agreement in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. If we all carry on the way we are, the North Kesteven district area will use up its share of this so-called carbon budget for the century by 2027, which is a little over three years away. 

“This motion shows that as community leaders within North Kesteven we are committed to doing everything we can, through action and advocacy, to support our residents, businesses and institutions to make the change that’s necessary,” said Cllr Wright. 

Among next steps to advance climate action for the Council and the District are:

  • The planning principles and guidelines outlined within the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan informs all development initiatives and protects landscape, heritage and environmental assets through to 2040.
  • Fulfilment of the £27m energy efficiency programme to retrofit the Council houses with lowest EPC ratings.
  • Ensuring all new build properties built by the Council are as climate conscious as possible, and carbon net-zero in use.
  • Planning for the decarbonisation of our non-residential buildings, including leisure assets.
  • Engaged in the delivery of a number of grant funding schemes to support householders to enhance their home energy efficiency and insulation standards.
  • The moving forward of plans to build local EV charging infrastructure.

The Council’s overarching Climate Emergency Strategy and progress against our net zero agenda can be viewed in our Climate Emergency Action Plan at www.n-kesteven.gov.uk/climateaction

The wording of the Motion as presented (11-10-23) by Councillor Wright is as follows:-

In light of recent developments, revisions of timetables and strategies by central government, with regards to net zero policies, it is important that we signal to our residents that the local policies they have supported, have not been abandoned or watered down.

We will continue to pursue the policies we have previously agreed, that not only benefit the environment, but also assist our residents in achieving warmer and more sustainable affordable homes and businesses to become more efficient, therefore investing in our local economy.

As stated many times, simply declaring a climate emergency is not enough and this motion supports the Administration’s carefully designed response to apply science, engineering and practical skills to the issue. Every step we take is timed, costed and has passed the vital tests of being practical, affordable and achievable.

Motion: I call upon the whole council to support the Administration in reaffirming that the policies set by NKDC, in relation to sustainability and carbon net zero 2030 targets, remain our priority.

The discussion and debate that took place at Council on October 12 can be heard on the Council's website on this webpage.

 

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