Wiltshire draft climate strategy 2022-2027. August 2021

Our approach

This strategy will help Wiltshire Council - and Wiltshire's people - to lead action on climate change.
We will focus on reducing carbon emissions in order to achieve net zero and keep global temperature to below 1.5oC. However, given that the effects of climate change are already being felt, we need to plan to be able to cope with the impacts of climate change associated with a 2oC rise in global temperature.

We will scale up existing technologies and solutions, while supporting innovation for the future.
We will focus on Wiltshire-based emissions in the first instance as these are better understood. Although we recognise that embodied carbon in materials and in the imported goods that we buy and eat also need to be brought to net zero, this is something the council has extremely limited influence over.

The council only has direct control over 0.5% of carbon emissions in Wiltshire but can use its democratic mandate and other levers of influence to have an impact on wider emissions (see diagram), including influencing strategic partners on infrastructure projects.
Most activities to mitigate climate change involve new and smarter ways of doing things. It will be essential to involve all sectors and generations, and especially children and young people as they will be the most affected.

Principles

Our strategy and delivery plans will:

  • Be inclusive - ensuring the transition to a low carbon, climate resilient future is accessible to all sectors of society, including our rural communities and businesses.
  • Be evidence led - using the best available science and analysis, while working to increase knowledge in areas where there are gaps. Our evidence base has been informed by feedback from a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Follow the Greenhouse Gas Hierarchy, making sure that low carbon technologies and offsetting do not take the focus away from reducing energy use in the first place.
  • Deliver co-benefits - where action to tackle carbon emissions also yields health or financial benefits, such as air quality and physical exercise benefits from walking and cycling.
  • Further embed climate considerations in decision-making.

Local Authority spheres of influence

Direct control: e.g. Councils operation, buildings, fleet, streetlights

Indirect control: e.g. Buying goods and services, investments, business travel

Regulatory role: e.g. Planning, licensing

Leadership and demonstration: e.g. leading by example. Showcasing and rewarding good practice

Partnership: e.g. Joint delivery, convening, co-ordinating, supporting

Enabling and engaging: e.g. Inspiring action, providing information