Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Corporate Director – Communities presented a report, to seek Cabinet approval to formally adopt the Bridgend 2030 Net Zero Carbon Strategy. The report recommends that the strategy should be adopted and the action plans detailed in it implemented, so that Bridgend Council can achieve net zero status by 2030.
By way of background, the report advised that in October 2018, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produced a report on the state of global warming. The report identified that a continued warming of global temperatures will significantly increase the likelihood and resulting impact of floods, droughts and extreme heat.
Welsh Government then declared a Climate Emergency in April 2019 and following this, the Welsh Government has now committed to achieving a carbon neutral public sector by 2030.
The Corporate Director – Communities reminded Cabinet, that in June 2020 Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) Cabinet approved a report that set out the crucial roles that BCBC has to play through the management of its own resources and assets and the way in which it works with and supports local residents, organisations and businesses to respond to the challenges set out in the IPCC report.
A target for Local Authorities in Wales to be net-zero carbon by 2030, is an ambition set by Welsh Government. In response, the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) with local government Leaders established a Decarbonisation Strategy Panel, supported by all 22 local authorities, Welsh Government, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Cardiff University.
Following appointment of the Carbon Trust to work with BCBC on the development of a Bridgend 2030 Net Zero Carbon Strategy, Officers had undertaken a number of proactive activities and these were listed in paragraph 3.8 of the report.
The final version of the Bridgend 2030 Net Zero Carbon Strategy was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. This had been developed following an in-depth review of data in line with the Welsh Public Sector Net Zero Carbon Reporting Guide and through engagement with internal and external stakeholders. Importantly, the Strategy will not be the only driver for net zero, as it would be a part of the Council’s Corporate Plan, whilst policies, strategies and ongoing plans will all need to reflect the commitment to net zero. This will ensure it is fully embraced across the organisation.
The Corporate Director – Communities confirmed that public consultation on the 2030 Net Zero Carbon Strategy was undertaken over a twelve-week period from 8 June to 30 August 2022. The consultation received a total of 360 online survey completions, with a further 35 face to face engagement completions. The consultation report was included at Appendix 2 to the report.
Analysis of the responses received, showed that the majority of respondents are in support of the draft Bridgend 2030 Net Carbon Zero Strategy and the priorities contained within this.
The Carbon Leads for taking forward the delivery of the Bridgend 2030 Net Zero Carbon Strategy were:
o Carbon Management – Group Manager - Economy, Natural Resources and Sustainability
o Waste – Head of Operations - Community Services
o Transport – Group Manager - Highways and Green Spaces
o Buildings – Group Manager - Corporate Landlord
o Land Use – Climate Change Response Manager
o Procurement – Corporate Procurement Manager
The Corporate Director – Communities concluded the report, by highlighting some financial implications of the Strategy which were elaborated upon in paragraph 8 of the report, which were significant.
The Leader advised that this was one of the most important Strategies that the Council was required to implement, so as to deliver upon the Climate Emergency.
The Cabinet Member – Communities stated that paragraph 4.5 of the report listed the Officers in the Communities Directorate that were required to lead on the different aspects of the Strategy, however, he added that there should also be a lead Officer for the Climate Change Agenda in each of the other Directorates, as there needed to be a Council wide approach to deliver this as a ‘One Council’ Corporate Priority. He added that he had some concerns around the cost of the project and hoped that Welsh Government would be able to assist local authorities financially, in order to successfully deliver the Strategy in its entirety.
The Cabinet Member – Education asked if consideration could be given to having a standard paragraph in the report template for all Committee reports, outlining how such reports affected (if at all) the Carbon Reduction Agenda.
The Monitoring Officer confirmed that this could be looked at in conjunction with the Committee report template review that was currently work in progress. It was hoped to submit a report to Council in February, outlining some adjustments to the report template.
The Deputy Leader asked if the review could also include having an Executive Summary as a paragraph in longer and more complex, detailed reports, to which the Monitoring Officer replied that this could be looked at also.
The Cabinet Member – Resources finally advised that he was pleased to confirm, that in the Welsh Government settlement that had been announced today, it was confirmed that a sizeable proportion of Capital spending was intended to be committed to Carbon Reduction across welsh local authorities.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet formally adopted the Bridgend 2030 Net Zero Carbon Strategy
Publication date: 23/05/2023
Date of decision: 13/12/2022
Decided at meeting: 13/12/2022 - Cabinet