New carbon neutral pledge made

Date Published: 16 July 2021

A carbon neutral future continues to be carved out for the District with a new pledge for climate action, made by the leader of North Kesteven District Council.

Council Leader Councillor Richard Wright has signed the UK 100 pledge, compelling the council further in its urgent action on climate.

The UK 100 pledge is a promise which implores council leaders to do everything within their power to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – including bringing their council’s emissions to net zero by 2030 and in their district by 2045. 

The pledge calls on leaders to work with residents, businesses and communities to set a course for net zero, build consensus for solutions and continue to assess the largest impacts on climate and tackle them at the source.

It also stipulates the leaders who sign it should help ensure people can access thriving and flourishing nature, enjoy healthy landscapes and live in a place they can be proud of, enjoy clean air and secure and affordable energy among other things.

Councillor Wright confirmed his signing of the pledge during Full Council on July 15 (pictured below), two years to the day the Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 as the first local authority in Lincolnshire to do so.

Councillor Wright said: “The time to act on climate is now. The clock is ticking and the only way to slow it is by chipping away at the climate emergency together, however we can.

“Climate action permeates every strand of our Council’s work. For example, we’re building back better with a high standard of energy-saving for future Council homes, eight super energy-efficient Passivhaus Council homes in construction now in Potterhanworth and the creation of our eco-conscious Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park.

“Already we’ve set an aim for the Council and District to become carbon neutral by 2030, which is ahead of the UK 100 pledge, and have set out a detailed plan on achieving this together with our communities and business sectors. We’ve also agreed a Tree Strategy increasing the number of trees on land owned by the district council by 10% in the short term and by 25% by 2035, along with 50 hectares of additional tree canopy cover by 2030 and a focus on important carbon-capturing habitats such as meadow and grass land.

“We cannot however rest on any laurels, and this is why I’m signing the pledge and adding to its call for bold and timely climate action by all council leaders.

“I would like to see focus on urgent and effective climate action that is also positive. It can be about creating a better way forward through the green economy and jobs it creates, improved wellbeing and equality, and sharing best practice and knowledge, rather than restricting our future.”

Director of UK100 Polly Billington said: “We’re thrilled that Cllr Wright has joined nearly 60 other UK locally-elected leaders in pledging to go further and faster than national government in delivering on climate.

“He joins our ambitious network of local leaders who have pledged to do everything within their power to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible in a way that benefits their communities with new jobs and skills. 

“From Edinburgh to Cornwall local leadership, alongside funding and powers, is key to winning the race to net zero.” 

Cllr Wirght holding up the signed UK 100 pledge outside the Northgate Sports Hall, along with a group of councillors and some of the council senior management team
The UK 100 pldge being signed by Cllr Wright
The pledge was signed by Cllr Wright at the meeting of Full Council, held at Northgate Sports Hall