The Climate Strategy sets out the next five years of the council's journey to becoming a carbon neutral county, covering seven delivery themes: transport; built environment; waste; green economy; energy generation, storage and distribution; natural environment, food and farming; and carbon neutral council.
The Green & Blue Infrastructure Strategy, Wiltshire's Natural Environment Plan has also been adopted and both documents will now be used as frameworks for all forthcoming council policies and plans, to ensure the council is on track to meet its pledge to make Wiltshire Council carbon neutral by 2030, and its ambition to make the county of Wiltshire carbon neutral.
The council will continue to deliver carbon reduction work, while working to understand the pathway to carbon neutral and net zero.
By Summer 2022 the council will have the results of studies showing the pathway to carbon neutrality for council operations and for key areas of Wiltshire county emissions.
The council will produce evidence-led delivery plans, identifying targets to deliver this strategy. Priorities will be based on carbon savings, cost, feasibility and co-benefits, in line with the principles of the strategy (see page 8).
The council is incorporating Climate Strategy objectives into its annual service delivery planning, and will continue to provide information via our website, social media and community organisations to help increase awareness of climate change and provide practical steps to residents.
Information on what the council is already doing to combat carbon emissions and become resilient to climate change can be found in our twice-yearly updates to Council's Cabinet and Full Council.
Wiltshire Council acknowledged a climate emergency in February 2019 and committed to becoming carbon neutral as an organisation by 2030. We are investing money to achieve this and are fully committed. We will also support Wiltshire to work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030. We need to work with residents, communities and businesses to achieve this.
Also, we want Wiltshire to be resilient to the impacts of 2oC change.
In May 2021 we began early engagement with stakeholder organisations to help shape the climate strategy. Between 1 September and 17 October 2021 we gave residents, businesses and local groups in the county the opportunity to have their say on our draft Climate Strategy.
At the same time, we also consulted on 'Our Natural Environment Plan' - A Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) strategy for Wiltshire', which looks at the future for Wiltshire's natural environmental assets and how the council can help protect and enhance them for the benefit of people and biodiversity.
Over 1000 people and organisations commented on the draft strategies. Responses were analysed, and the feedback used to inform the final climate and GBI strategies which have now been adopted.
Questions submitted during our consultation have been answered and can be found in the Climate strategy questions and answers area.
The latest local authority carbon dioxide emissions data from the government's Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) shows that in 2019 the county's total carbon footprint was 2,587 kilotonnes. This is about 10% of the south west's carbon emissions and less than 1% of the UK total emissions. Transport takes up the largest percentage of Wiltshire's emissions at 45%. Industry and homes make up the remainder. Like many local authorities, we have chosen to use this dataset for our baseline because it is available for free, updated annually, and directly comparable with statistics for other areas, including regional and national data.
Wiltshire's emissions are measured against a 2005 baseline, as this was the first reporting year by BEIS. Significant reductions have been achieved since 2005, in line with the national trend. Key factors driving these reductions have been improvements in energy efficiency and steady decarbonisation of the electricity grid, as renewables account for an ever-increasing proportion of all generation.
Wiltshire Council has been working to reduce its carbon emissions for over a decade. Since 2010 the council has been monitoring, reporting and publishing its , in line with UK government requirements.
The report is prepared using guidance published by the government Department for Energy, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Through monitoring our emissions, we can better understand the impact our operations have on the environment and take action to lessen this impact.
Wiltshire Council's emissions in 2020 amounted to 10 ktCO2 - equivalent to approximately 0.4% of the county's 2019 emissions.