A mandate proposal to introduce a work programme to co-ordinate and manage the Council’s approach to climate change related activities was before the Strategy and Resources Executive Advisory Board (EAB) for consideration. This programme, which consisted of various projects and workstreams, would address the Council’s commitment to achieve its net zero emissions target across the authority’s property estate and service operations and other aspects of actions related to addressing climate change.
The EAB received an introductory presentation from the Head of Asset Management (Climate Change Lead) regarding the mandate which addressed the following areas:
· Programme Strategy
· Options Evaluation
· Climate Change Programme Workstreams
· Programme Cost Profile
· Issues, Assumptions and Risks
· Dependencies, Constraints and Opportunities
· Appendix A: Internal Stakeholders Reviewer List
· Appendix B: Climate Change Programme Group Proposal – Terms of Reference; Who; Why; and Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Tasks
· Corporate Management Team Outcome
· Executive / Management Team Liaison Group Outcome
The presentation reminded the EAB that in July 2019 the Council declared a Climate Emergency which acknowledged that urgent action was required to combat climate change and set a commitment to working towards making the Council’s own activities net zero carbon by 2030. The Energy and Carbon Reduction High-level Action Plan was subsequently adopted in July 2020 and the Council’s commitment was reiterated in the Climate Change Motion passed in October 2020. The significance of this commitment was reflected in the emergence of climate change as a strategic priority for the Council.
Government statistics indicated that 20% of borough-wide emissions emanated from businesses, 28% from domestic properties with the majority of 52% from transport. The Council could undertake a stewardship role in facilitating a borough-wide transition involving both residents and businesses alike whilst engaging with key stakeholders.
In order to effectively and efficiently reduce carbon emissions, the Council would need to adopt a holistic collaborative approach across the organisation, involving all of its services, assets and operations, which aligned with other strategies such as the Council’s Air Quality Strategy.
The mandate set out five potential strategic options to deliver a climate change solution consisting of (1) Do nothing, (2a) or (2b) Do minimum, (3) Do more, the recommended option, or (4) Do most. Options 3 and 4 offered opportunities to explore the possibility of closer working with Waverley Borough Council (WBC) in respect of shared knowledge and project work as part of new joint working arrangements.
In addition to considering the high level mandate, EAB members also discussed aspects of some of the programme projects and workstreams flowing from the mandate. The following points arose from related questions, comments and discussion:
1. Although the formalising and progressing of a climate change work programme were welcomed, there was a view that the mandate lacked ambition and could be strengthened in its aims, notwithstanding the Council’s financial situation.
2. The limited references to the Climate Change Board (CCB) in the mandate together with the inclusion of only one councillor in the Stakeholders Reviewer List were causes of concern ... view the full minutes text for item 35