An updated action plan to push forward and support the council’s aim of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030 is set to be discussed by Cabinet (14 January, item 20).
The Green City Action Plan sets out the council’s actions for its first year of work to becoming a ‘Green City’ - an area which has the protection of the environment and energy efficiency at the heart of all its activities. The proposed plan sets out a timetable for action and provides an update on the work which has taken place so far and the ongoing projects which are helping to reduce carbon emissions across the Borough.
Report highlights include the five key focus areas which will help accelerate the work to create net zero emissions by 2030. These are:
- Climate Leadership and Strategic Approach
- Establishing a Pathway to Net Zero Carbon
- Building Climate Resilience across Southend
- Future Generations
- Building Partnerships
Cabinet is being recommended to endorse the action plan so that it can be used to provide the framework for future council projects.
Cllr Carole Mulroney, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “This is an exciting action plan which provides extensive details on previous, ongoing and future work carried out by the council to help us reach our aim of becoming a Green City. The plan has to be dynamic and adaptable. We are all seeing the changes to our lives through the pandemic and since our declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, we have been working to create a plan which, if approved, will help us reach that target of net zero emissions by 2030. The officers have worked incredibly hard to bring this plan to fruition despite the current situation.
“We are on the right road and in recent years the Borough has seen a reduction in overall CO2 emissions by a total of 39%. In addition to this, there are many ongoing projects in a variety of areas, including the PlastiCity project, that will move us forward even more.
“But it is important to stress that for us to achieve our aims we need the whole Borough on board. This means residents, businesses, schools, stakeholders and partners, all playing their part. Small changes like using sustainable forms of travel or sustainable energy sources will all play a big part in helping us create a green future for ourselves and future generations. The Council will provide assistance and advice to these groups, but we need to work together on this.
“This plan is the building block for our green future as we continue to work to make lives better for our residents with a clean, safe and prosperous environment for our town.”