Climate Change Board - Thursday, 17th March, 2022 2.00 pm

Proposed venue: Teams

Contact: Carrie Anderson 

No. Item


Welcome and introductions


The Chairman of the Climate Change Board, Councillor Cait Taylor welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced the guests, Ian Ross from Zero Carbon Guildford, Councillor Steve Williams from Waverley Borough Council and Carolyn McKenzie from Surrey County Council.


Apologies for absence


Apologies for absence were received from Professor Graham Miller (UNIS).


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 359 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 12 August 2021 were approved as correct.

There were two outstanding actions for the previous Chairman of the Board relating to businesses and communities and air quality. The action for air quality was to confirm an invitation to all councillors for an air quality briefing. This had been completed. There was an outstanding action for the Climate Change Officer to follow up on progress of the behavioural insight programme proposed by UNIS. This had not been completed as the officer had left the council. This was noted.

It was further noted that the costings for replacing the boilers for air source heat pumps at the Lido had not proved realistic. In addition, there was insufficient space on the site for such heat pumps which were larger than the gas boilers. Consequently, the council was proceeding with the installation of gas boilers. However, other energy saving actions were being considered for the Lido such as a cover for the pool. A consultant was engaged on this task.


SCC's Greener Futures Programme Presentation


Carolyn McKenzie, Director for Environment at Surrey County Council (SCC) gave a presentation on Surrey’s Greener Future strategy which set out the council’s Climate Change delivery plan 2021-25.

This was the first action plan produced since a Climate Change emergency was declared by the council in May 2019. The plan was for a five year delivery period that would be reviewed on an ongoing basis. A very detailed implementation plan was to follow shortly.

Ms McKenzie reiterated the need for action and adaptation highlighting global temperature rises and extreme weather events. It was explained that this was the strategy for the county and not the county council with expectation that there would be complementary interaction with more local action plans at a district and borough level and with other non-public sector groups. The strategy did not yet cover local resilience and there was work to be done to support adaptation to change as well as to mitigate greater future change.

The emissions make up graphic for Surrey revealed that the majority of Surrey’s emissions came from buildings (51%) and transport (41%). The highest emissions for transport came from personal use vehicles and taxis. The highest emissions from buildings came from owner occupied residential. Local authority emissions were just 1% of the total and it was vital that other sectors, local residents and businesses be engaged to take action so that the strategy and commitment to net zero by 2030 could be achieved.

Given that local authorities’ emissions were so low the role for councils was set out as leading by example, enabling and financing projects, influencing behaviour change and collaborating with partners. Strategic areas would need to join up demonstrating strong governance and communications to empower communities and drive behaviour change as well as lobbying at government level.

Feedback from the strategy’s consultation which closed in the autumn suggested the council should have a realistic ambition and that a 1.5 degree temperature rise would only be attainable with government support. Joined agendas in that the co-benefits of climate change adaptations be promoted to push behaviour change such as better health, recovery of nature and economy. Positive procurement of goods and services coming from inside and outside of the county. Finally, the limitations of resources and the essential need to collaborate, to share, to partner and to coordinate.

There were seven principles for the delivery plan.

·        To put residents and communities at the forefront to drive behaviour change;

·        to work with partners wherever possible;

·        to continue to lobby the government for policy change;

·        to put carbon reduction at the heart of every decision the council made;

·        to utilise new and innovative financing;

·        to undertake a degree of meaningful offsetting and

·        to ensure full engagement to ensure no one was left behind as changes were implemented.

With regard to offsetting, it was noted planting and improvements to green spaces could also have a positive effect on the biodiversity agenda.

With regard to full engagement it was recognised that the equalities agenda was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Introduction to Waverley Borough Council's Climate Change Board


The Board welcomed Councillor Steve Williams from Waverley Borough Council who was Executive Lead for Environment and Sustainability.

Waverley Borough Council (WBC) had declared a Climate Emergency in September 2019 with the same commitment as Guildford Borough Council (GBC) to reach Net Zero by 2030. It was important to remain on track for that timescale and to seek funding and collaboration to do so. The first draft of the WBC carbon neutrality action plan was produced in March 2020 with the acceptance that it would grow over time in terms scheduling and detail. The current version was produced in December 2020.

WBC had worked with the Association for Public Service Excellence to produce metrics and to understand the sources and levels of emissions to provide a baseline and a trajectory, in the same way as GBC.

The WBC Climate Emergency Board had seven key priorities including organisational emissions, active travel and air quality (including a lead transport officer to liaise with SCC), energy generation, built environment (with an estate of c.5,000 council-owned home), waste and resources, land use and adaption, and finally supporting a green economy (there were climate emergency centres in Farnham and Godalming). The Board had approved its action plan and recommended to full Council. The Board had met twice where there had been a focus on two areas of action. Firstly, procurement which was acknowledged as having particular processes and constraints for local government. A sustainable procurement strategy was being worked on currently to prioritise zero carbon. The other focus had been on the council’s estate and consultants had been engaged to work on a trajectory with costings for decarbonising all council-owned homes by 2030. The costs were clearly not going to be within the financial capacity of the council by itself and would require government funding and with the evidence from the consultants there would be lobbying for additional funds. In the meantime, the council was undertaking what steps it could take within budget toward that goal.

Following Cllr Williams’ presentation members of the GBC Board noted that it was far more costly to retro-fit housing rather than to build in a sustainable way to begin with. It was queried if the government may be bringing forward some funding to support carbon neutral construction at some stage. The meeting heard that WBC would be considering a motion put to its full Council in April to call upon the government to fund councils who did have a fully costed trajectory to retro-fit it’s council-owned homes. The importance of council’s in contributing to the government’s own carbon deadlines needed to be pressed home. Cllr Williams hoped that other Surrey councils would take the same lobbying position.

The Board agreed that there was a need to communicate with future homeowners to create an understanding of the climate change emergency so they would demand that new homes be carbon neutral.

The Board would support further planning legislation to support carbon neutral building. WBC was working to ensure as much supportive  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Introduction of Ben from Zero Carbon


The Board welcomed Ian Ross from Zero Carbon Guildford.

Zero opened in November 2021 and was led by a board of trustees and run by volunteers. Included on site was a zero waste shop and a café area to socialise; various displays covering biodiversity to solar panels and a teracycle recycling facility.

Zero had a cinema and ran many different events that were well attended. The recent ‘Take the Jump’ initiative launched at Zero had been featured in the Guardian newspaper.

Many of the members of the Board had visited Zero and were in support of it. The meeting heard that trustees of Zero had been engaged to support a parish initiative in West Horsley at an event to be held on 31 March.


Terms of Reference for the CCB


The terms of reference item was deferred as the papers were not included in the agenda pack.


Date of the next meeting


Members would be canvassed for the date of the next meeting.


Any Other Business


There was a discussion about resources available for the Climate Change work and the collaboration with Waverley was welcomed.

A new Climate Change Officer had been appointed with a start date of 16 May 2022.

There would be a new report covering emissions ready for the next meeting.

Some members asked for more frequent meetings. The terms of reference would be reviewed at the next meeting.

SCC Cabinet Report 26 October 2021 Surrey's Greener Futures CCDP pdf icon PDF 603 KB

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