Government report on climate change to guide East Devon strategy

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 July 2020

Blackdown House, East Devon District Council's Honiton headquarters. Picture: Dan WIlkins

Blackdown House, East Devon District Council's Honiton headquarters. Picture: Dan WIlkins

Archant

A central government report issuing a ‘now do it’ plea over climate change will be used to help form East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) strategy.

EDDC said it ‘remains committed’ to reducing its carbon footprint after the government’s ‘committee of climate change’ report was issued.

The foreword to the report said the UK government must ‘seize the opportunity to make the Covid-19 recovery a defining moment in tackling the climate crisis’ and said ‘act courageously - it’s there for the taking’. Newly appointed portfolio holder for climate change at EDDC, Cllr Marianne Rixson, and her deputy Cllr Denise Bickley said they will be using the report to guide the council’s plans.

In summer 2019, EDDC became a signatory to the Devon Climate Emergency Declaration.

A spokesman for EDDC said: “Whilst recognising that it has set itself a challenging ambition, (the council) is determined to make positive changes over the next 20 years to reach this goal for the benefit of the planet, its communities, and residents’ health and wellbeing.”

In a joint statement, Cllrs Rixson and Bickley said: “Whilst this report is primarily for government, we intend to use the Committee on Climate Change report as a guide to help develop and enhance our own strategy. “Initial low-cost projects include tree planting and re-wilding.

“However, in order to achieve a substantial change in emissions, changes will be required to both housing and transport, which together contribute substantially to greenhouse gases.

“We must ensure that future housing is built to meet high environmental standards.

“Also, that transport emissions are reduced through behavioural change such as walking, where possible, cycling and car sharing. Increased use of public transport will play a significant role, once public confidence has been restored.

“As a rural area, we recognise too that investment will be essential in electric car charging networks.

“However, schemes such as these will require significant investment and government funding.

“Therefore, climate change projects should be on the top of the government’s agenda.

“In the meantime, we will play our part in encouraging green transport through electrification of our own white vehicle fleet.”


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