On 14th May 2019 Cambridgeshire County Council declared a Climate Emergency.
A unanimously supported motion put before Full Council by Cllr Steve Count, Leader of the Council, outlined the council’s significant track record of success in this area, leading to it becoming acknowledged as a national leader and recommended steps to move further faster in recognition of the need for urgent action.
Saying that the council had a responsibility as a ‘caretaker’ of the environment for future generations, he said:
“People of all ages, all walks of life and all social and economic backgrounds in Cambridgeshire are becoming increasingly concerned they will leave or inherit an environment that is irreparably damaged, forcing others to live with the consequences of the decisions we make today.”
Cllr Count recommended that the council worked with partners, with the private sector and crucially with representatives of young people who had recently demonstrated their concern about the environment outside Shire Hall, to develop even more ambitious plans and use the council’s significant influence locally and nationally to encourage others to do the same.
What are we doing already?
Cambridgeshire County Council already has significant success in tackling environmental challenges. Notably we have made significant investment into renewable energy schemes, including a 12MW solar farm in Soham. We also purchase 100% renewable electricity for our corporate buildings. These two actions combine to help mitigate the Council's corporate energy-related carbon emissions.
We also work with local communities to establish and manage a number of Local Nature Reserves for the benefit of people and wildlife. All of the reserves are open to the public.
Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) are living green spaces which are important for people and support important wildlife. They are places where local residents can study and learn about wildlife, or simply enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of being in nature. All district and county councils can acquire, declare and manage Local Nature Reserves. There are 28 Local Nature Reserves in Cambridgeshire with 8 of these being owned by the County Council.
We have a number of corporate strategies which deal with specific environmental challenges, including a new Plastic Strategy, and are currently working on creating an overarching Climate Change and Environment Strategy in the coming months. In the meantime, read about our strategies below.
- Corporate Energy Strategy
- Plastics Strategy
- Joint Waste Management Strategy
- Local Flood Risk Management Strategy
- Natural Cambridgeshire
The Strategy outlines our vision is to secure renewable and resilient energy supplies and infrastructure that can support local needs. We will do this whilst maximising commercial benefit for the Councils and our communities and making best use of our combined assets to reduce carbon emissions and environmental impacts.
Details of our projects can be found here.
Cambridgeshire County Council's Plastic Strategy was approved by Full Council in July 2019, this strategy describes how Cambridgeshire County Council will play its part in reducing its use of single use plastics, consider the cradle to grave impacts of plastic products procured as part of its wide range of services, and lead its supply chain and the broader community to find new solutions and innovations to help solve this problem.
This Strategy sets out direction, aims and objectives of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Waste Partnership (known as RECAP) working together to achieve more sustainable waste management for their communities. It outlines our vision and key projects which will assist in RECAP achieving our targets of:
- 50 – 55% of household waste recycled/composted by 2015
- 55 – 65% of household waste recycled/composted by 2020
This strategy outlines how Cambridgeshire can sustainably manage its waterways to manage flood risk across the county.
There are 5 key objectives within the strategy:
- Understanding flood risk in Cambridgeshire;
- Managing the likelihood and impact of flooding
- Helping Cambridgeshire’s citizens to understand and manage their own risk
- Ensuring appropriate development in Cambridgeshire
- Improving flood prediction, warning and post flood recovery
This strategy focuses on 6 strategic areas which will enhance and protect Cambridgeshire's natural environment:
- Living Landscapes
- Local Food and Farming
- Better places to live
- Sustainable Jobs
- Healthy Communities
- Heritage, culture and leisure