The debate at a full meeting of the council on 8 October can be viewed again here:
In May 2019 the council declared a Climate Emergency and, in pledging to make the authority carbon neutral in the next 10 years, also called on the UK Government to provide the powers and resources to make the target possible.
Since then updates have been submitted to the council and last night consultants ClearLead Ltd presented a Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan that won the approval of all councillors.
The Action Plan sets out a potential pathway to achieving net zero in terms of the District Council’s direct emissions, outlining in broad terms the level of investment - around £2.7-million - that would be required to meet net zero and the period over which that investment would need to be made.
Last night's meeting also agreed that the council’s carbon footprint be measured and reported on an annual basis and that the programme of works required to achieve net zero by 2030 is approved and built into the Capital Programme to be considered by Council next month.
Councillors also noted the need to obtain funding to undertake the programme of works required to achieve net zero by 2030 and agreed to the recruitment of a Climate Change Officer on a 5-year fixed term contract.
The pathway to net zero identified in the Strategy is listed as:
- Energy efficiency improvements to existing facilities;
- Installation of biomass heating at Matlock Town Hall;
- Electrification of heating at 3 key facilities;
- Installation of roof mounted solar PV at 2 key facilities;
- Development of 2MW ground mounted solar PV;
- Electrification of the Council’s vehicle fleet.
"I am reassured by this report. It gives us the definitive baseline and a clear pathway to carbon neutrality by 2030. That target now looks reachable within the timeframe which is very good news, though expensive."Cllr Mike Ratcliffe, who originally took the Climate Emergency motion to the council, said:
"This a very valuable piece of work. It gives us a concrete assessment of what we need to do and it gives us the associated costs. Now these are of course are never palatable in our money-saving environment, but we need to grasp this with both hands."
View the full report [PDF]