To note the Climate Emergency Annual Report.
On 25th April, 2022, Cabinet had resolved to submit the Climate Emergency Annual Report and associated decisions to the next Council meeting for information. Cabinet had resolved to:
1. Note the progress to date towards the NZ30 and NZ40 targets.
2. Note the progress against the actions from the 2021/22 Climate Emergency Action Plan.
3. Agree the approach laid out for continued development of the Council’s response to the Climate Emergency, including an updated Action Plan in 2022.
4. Agree that the Climate Emergency Annual Report be submitted to the next Council meeting for information.
5. Agree that developments related to the Environment Bill and the subsequent impact on the waste and recycling strategies be submitted to the Improving Places Select Commission in due course.
The report had also been the subject of pre-decision scrutiny by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board at their meeting on 20th April, 2022.
At its meeting on 30th October, 2019, the Council declared a climate emergency and produced a policy and action plan “Responding to the Climate Emergency”. This set out key policy themes of Energy; Housing; Transport; Waste; Built and Natural Environment; Influence and Engagement.
At its meeting on 23rd March, 2020, Cabinet resolved to establish the targets of:
· The Council’s carbon emissions to be at net zero by 2030 (NZ30)
· Borough-wide carbon emissions to be at net zero by 2040 (NZ40)
A Climate Emergency Action Plan for 2021/22 was included in the previous Climate Emergency Annual Report on 22nd March, 2021. The report provided an update on progress against actions outlined in the 2021/22 Action Plan, with particular attention paid to baselining work, which would be an important factor in the continuing strategic development of the Council’s response to the climate emergency. The report then outlined next steps on this agenda, particularly the ongoing development of a new Climate Emergency Action Plan.
Councillor Lelliott explained that a capital proposal for £6.4million had been approved as part of the budget for Phase 1 of the Heat Decarbonisation Plan. Energy performance upgrades had been delivered to 217 homes in The Lanes, East Dene. Further, more than 22,000 trees had been planted. The Youth Cabinet in Rotherham had questioned Council officers and Cabinet Members on the Climate Emergency as part of the Children’s Takeover of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.
In seconding the report, Councillor Roche explained that he had put forward the motion to declare a Climate Emergency in 2019 and acknowledged the progress and work done by Councillor Allen and Councillor Lelliott. Councillor Roche explained that work on the Climate Emergency would be good for public health.
Councillor Bennett-Sylvester thanked Councillor Lelliott for the invite to the Climate Change Working Group which was very constructive.
Councillor A. Carter offered his support for the report but stated that there was a need to move quicker in relation to the actions. He also asked that the Carbon Impact Assessments that accompanied Scrutiny and Cabinet reports be move comprehensive.
Councillor Reynolds stated that he believed the Council were being hypocrites be destroying the green belt in Ravenfield and Bramley.
Councillor Lelliott put on record her thanks to the Member Working Group and the Officer Working Group. It was explained that additional money had been invested to employ additional staff for climate change roles. Councillor Lelliott also explained that lots of green belt had been protected but that the Council had to accept some development or the right to refuse applications would be taken away and given to Government officials.
1) That the report be noted.
Mover:- Councillor Lelliott Seconder:- Councillor Read