Issue - meetings

Environment and Climate Change Action Plans: 2022 Update

Meeting: 19/07/2022 - Cabinet (Item 385)

385 Environment and Climate Change Action Plans: 2022 Update (Report number: CAB/WS/22/040) pdf icon PDF 301 KB

Report number:     CAB/WS/22/040

Portfolio holders: Councillors John Griffiths and Andy Drummond

Lead officer: Jill Korwin

Additional documents:


Resolved that, as detailed in Report number: CAB/WS/22/040:


1.       Having reviewed and not made any recommendations for any change to the actions and activities, as set out in Appendix A, progress against the Environment and Climate Change action plans, be noted.


2.       The new actions to be added to the plan, as set out in section 2.14, be agreed.


3.       The Environmental Statement for the Council’s 2021 to 2022 performance, included as Appendix B, be approved.



The Cabinet considered this report, which presented the Environment and Climate Change Action Plans: 2022 update.


This was the second annual report on progress in implementing the agreed actions approved by Cabinet in July 2020 following its declaration of a climate and environment emergency. It summarised some of the wider developments that impacted upon the Council’s work in lowering carbon emissions and improving environmental impacts across the organisation and detailed how the Council was adapting its approach to mitigate against some of these external factors, as reflected in the actions taken.


Councillor John Griffiths, Leader of the Council, drew relevant issues to the attention of Cabinet, including highlighting the following specific areas:


-        the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and the energy crisis on the actions

-        the actions against the burgeoning cost of living crisis. This included improvements to 200 homes and other actions that would help alleviate hardship for those most vulnerable during the crisis

-        the creation of the £9 million West Suffolk Decarbonisation Budget was key to support efforts to become a net zero organisation

-        the Suffolk-wide context and the Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan – which was allowing the Council to work at scale with Suffolk partners. Membership of UK100 was also key – this was a national network for highly ambitious elected leaders who were committed to cleaner, more powerful communities. Membership further validated West Suffolk’s commitment to climate challenges and provided an opportunity for collective advocacy to Government, together with practical benefits of access to studies, peer support and networks.


Attention was also drawn to the potential new actions for inclusion in the Action Plan, as contained in section 2.14 of the report. These had arisen where new opportunities or areas for development had been identified. 


The full Environmental Statement, which was an annual summary of the Council’s performance in regard to addressing impacts on the environment and climate change was also included at Appendix B (a summary of this statement is included in the West Suffolk Annual Report 2021 to 2022 (Report number: CAB/WS/22/039)).


Councillor Griffiths placed his thanks on record to officers, and to partners across Suffolk, for their continuing efforts in helping to deliver the ambitious action plan to achieve carbon net zero by 2030.


Councillor Andy Drummond, Portfolio Holder for Regulatory and Environment, then spoke in support of the action plan and how it was important that West Suffolk celebrated its achievements to date and led the way in trying to influence others to follow their lead. 


A discussion was held on getting a balance between supporting those that were significantly affected by the cost of living crisis and achieving the net carbon zero target by 2030. Recognition was however, given to the fact that collaborative working and accessing Government funding created many opportunities to support those in need while still benefitting the environment, such as the retro-fitting insulation programme and engaging local businesses in the Solar for Business scheme.


Particularly acknowledging the impact of external global developments, the Cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 385