Agenda item

Climate Emergency Definition


The Climate Change declaration was made by the Council in July 2019, since then there had been a development in understanding of the issues and terminology involved. As the Council moved forward it was important that its ambitions were clear. It was proposed that the original declaration be updated and clarified. It was proposed this revised statement form an introduction to the draft Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP).

Firstly, the Council should be clear about what was understood by Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions and how these would be addressed. Scope 1 was understood to be the emissions created by the running of the Council itself, such as gas and electricity usage. Scope 2 was understood to the emissions created by the activities the Council, such as refuse vehicles etc. and Scope 3 was the indirect emissions arising from the Council’s third-party relationships, through the procurement or supply of goods and services. There was not, as yet, a defined methodology for calculating or influencing Scope 3 emissions.

It was proposed that Scope 3 be included in the Council’s definition due to the credibility of the intent, but that Scope 3 emissions might be outside of the ambition for 2030 as it would possibly take an additional year or two years to work with partners and providers to achieve that outcome which would be in accordance with the science-based targets to keep within the 1.5 degree increase.

Secondly, the original declaration made no mention of the biodiversity emergency, air quality or resilience and adaptation to climate change when it had become clear that these were important related challenges.

Attention was drawn to the video circulated recently to the Board setting out the relationship between climate change and biodiversity.

Again, it was suggested that certain parts of the Council’s portfolio might be reassessed and placed outside of the 2030 target if it appeared that could not be met by precisely the cut off year of 2030 but could be achieved more flexibly.

It was noted that some parts of the declaration had been met such as the member training, albeit this training may have to be repeated following the local elections.

The wording of the objectives of the development management policies could be incorporated in the declaration.

Parish councils might be looking for leadership from the Council and this role might be made more explicit in the revised interpretation of the declaration.

The Action Plan was to be reviewed regularly, probably every two years.

It was suggested that the Council’s procurement policy might stipulate that any business acting as provider to the Council should have its emissions benchmarked with a plan for decarbonising to facilitate measuring and reducing Scope 3. The Chairman felt there was much to understand in procurement practice, such as how and if the Council were bound to certain legal or procedural constraints.

Colleagues from the Comms Team and those working with local businesses stakeholders were welcomed for their contribution in this regard. The meeting heard that Guildford continued to be in the lead for LoCASE[1] registrations of interest, with a total of 104 registrations since the launch of the grant programme. In addition, Guildford took joint lead with Mole Valley for applications submitted (19) and a total of 90.43 tCO2 was expected to be saved by businesses in Guildford. To see LoCASE figures, the LoCASE newsletters are uploaded in the Climate Change Board Teams Site:


The graph showed where registrants had heard about the grant funding programme and it was evident that partners (e.g. ZCG/Guildford SBN, University of Surrey/Research Park) had been key in promoting LoCASE to Guildford businesses, alongside GBC, Councillors, Comms and EDO. The Council had allocated funding in its Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF) proposals for business financial support to carry out decarbonisation projects as follows:


·         UKSPF: Decarbonisation loan scheme with SCC and Surrey DBs – awaiting further details from SCC

·         REPF: Grants for small scale investments for SMEs, including capital funding for net zero infrastructure for rural businesses. The Council was waiting a response from Government on its application.

LoCASE funding was due to end in April 2023, but the Council’s Crowdfunding option might provide opportunities.

In conclusion, the Chairman summed up that the revised declaration should include the Council’s approach to biodiversity, air quality, resilience and adaption to climate change. The primary focus was to reduce the emissions that the Council could control within the resources available, but also to act in a leadership role with stakeholders, partners and the community by setting an example. The Chairman proposed that Scopes 1 and 2 emissions be set within the 2030 target but that Scope 3 emissions be subject to a separate ambition once measurements to make a calculation. Legal arrangements around procurement needed to be understood, some of which would likely be subject to legislation. Adoption of an accurate measurement application would inform the declaration of net zero for Scope 3 and any offsetting implications.