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More support needed to tackle climate change

Published Friday, 1st November 2019

Green city

More Government support is needed to help make Southend-on-Sea carbon neutral by 2030, according to the council’s cabinet member for environment.

The call for more national funding and support comes ahead of the council’s cabinet discussing moves to become a truly ‘Green City’ next week (Cabinet, 5th November) and follows the recent declaration of a climate emergency and report to cabinet in September 2019.

Cabinet members will also discuss the need to get the buy-in of local people and local businesses to achieve a carbon neutral Southend-on-Sea by 2030.

Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment, said: “Becoming a truly Green City is a key priority for this administration and we are already taking a number of positive steps to help tackle the climate issues that affect us all.

“However, becoming carbon neutral by 2030 is a huge task and will also be hugely expensive. Whilst not all actions will fall to the council, in total, it is likely to require over £1bn of public and private sector investment across the Borough over the next 10 years. This will be replicated across the country and so it is vital we work with the LGA to lobby for more funds to help councils like us.

“We have already committed to installing an additional 87 electric vehicle charging points across the town, we recently agreed to plant 1,000 new trees across the Borough and work on a new tree policy and continue to tackle air quality issues.

“The council continues to look at ambitious energy projects too, and I am pleased to see reference to a proposed new solar installation near to the developing Airport Business Park Southend, the ambition to harness tidal power and a potential project to make the Civic Centre a net electricity generator.

“It is also important to emphasise that battling climate change is something everyone must get behind, including residents and businesses to ensure they do their bit through energy efficiency, the use of low emissions transport options, recycling, reducing usage of single-use plastics and disposing of waste appropriately for example.”

The council has already reduced emissions from its own buildings by 75% since 2014, and as a Borough lowered emissions by 35% since 2005, placing the council 28th nationally in the UK for CO2 emissions per head of population.

This is particularly impressive because the top 30 contains many rural areas that have large areas of green space which act as carbon sinks. 

The full report is available to view here (item 7): https://democracy.southend.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=130&MId=3425&Ver=4