Climate change and sustainability
The UK may already be experiencing some of the consequences of changes to weather patterns and it is vital to plan ahead to mitigate the most serious risks.
As the local authority we have a key role in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change – both as community leaders and through the services we provide.
We are acting to reduce the risks posed by climate change to service delivery, the public, local communities, local infrastructure, businesses and the natural environment.
We adopted our first Climate Change strategy (PDF 366.1KB) in May 2010. This document details how we are going to address the issues raised by climate change, and clarifies our ambitions and drive for action.
Following on actions identified by Climate Change Strategy, we commissioned a Local Climate Change Risk Assessment (PDF 3.1MB) (LCCRA) to help define and understand the risks and opportunities in the Central Bedfordshire area. The study provides the evidence needed to inform our Climate Change Adaptation Plan, which will contribute to our development strategy, corporate policies and emergency planning.
The study is based on the first national Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), (link opens in new window) published in January 2012, and applies its methodologies and findings to a local level.
Renewable energy generation is one area where a significant contribution can be made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A Renewable Capacity Study (PDF 8.9MB) concerning a range of different technologies and scenarios has been produced to help us better understand what is feasible in the Central Bedfordshire area.
To help steer the most appropriate renewable technology to the most suitable area, as well as to inform planning decisions, a series of renewable energy planning technical guidance notes have also been produced.
What are we doing to cut our carbon footprint?
We have put in place a programme of energy efficiency and generation measures. This ranges from energy efficient LED lighting and boiler controls to solar photovoltaic panels on a number of our buildings. By reducing our energy usage, we will realise substantial savings in cost as well as well as reducing our carbon footprint.
We monitor energy use on an on-going basis and also compiles an annual Green House Gas report which show our carbon footprint. Considerable progress has already been achieved, although more work still needs to be done.