This report seeks approval of funding from the Climate Change Investment Fund to take forward ambitions to work across the region with partners to deliver a Net Zero by 2050 Climate Change Action Plan.
Portfolio Holder – Councillor Heather Timms
In the absence of Councillor Heather Timms (Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate & Culture), Councillor Isobel Seccombe (Leader) introduced this report which sought approval of funding from the Climate Change Investment Fund to take forward ambitions to work across the region with partners to deliver a Net Zero by 2050 Climate Change Action Plan. Councillor Seccombe shared details of the notable progress that had been made over the previous 18 months to deliver on the Climate Change Programme. Using the momentum from COP26, the Council needed to do further work to broaden the scope, capacity and skills of its climate change programme, by doing focussed, detailed and costed action planning in order to provide clarity on the funding required to be a net zero Council by 2030, and to achieve a net zero county by no later than 2050. The latter target required partnership working and contributions from across the public sector and with other sectors in the sub-region. The aim was to unify public sector action with a joint action plan for 2050. The funding sought in the report would allow these actions to progress at an early stage.
Councillor Jonathan Chilvers pointed out the intentions of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to be net zero by 2041. Given the poor odds of avoiding catastrophic climate change if net zero was reached by 2050, he suggested that the Council should be aligning its aims with those of the WMCA.
Councillor Jerry Roodhouse welcomed the report as a move in the right direction, and supported concerns that the 2050 target was too late. He noted the cross-boundary implications for services such as transport and, therefore, the need to work with partners. He asked whether there had been a cost benefit analysis completed for the work. Whilst he appreciated the need to fund the proposals he stated that it would be important to avoid the bureaucracy that would stymie delivery.
The Leader clarified that the intention was to be a net zero Council by 2030 and the 2050 target was Warwickshire-wide. This required a lot of work with the business and public sectors but she emphasised that anything that could be achieved before 2050 would be. There was a commitment to work with business and it was important to provide realistic, affordable and achievable targets for the sector.
At 2.19pm, during consideration of this item, the meeting was adjourned due to the sounding of a fire alarm. The meeting reconvened at 2.50pm.
That Cabinet approves the allocation of £200,000 from the Climate Change Investment Fund to take forward work across the sub-region with partners to deliver a response to COP26, using the funding to deliver the actions set out in section 2 of the report.