Climate Change - what we are doing
Severe weather events in the borough have shown that the global issue of climate change is now a local problem and reducing the area’s carbon emissions and planning for the effects of extreme weather is high on our agenda.
On this page
At the meeting of Council on 18 July, councillors unanimously called for a climate emergency to be declared, recognising the urgent need to take action to tackle this important issue through the council's own work, that of our partners and in our communities.
The key points agreed by all councillors at the meeting on targets and actions are below and the next steps will be agreed by Cabinet in September:
- Make Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council operations carbon neutral by December 2025 by ensuring that 100% of its heating and electrical needs are met from renewable sources and cease the purchase and/or lease of any vehicle that is not low carbon;
- Pledge to work toward making Basingstoke and Deane net zero carbon by 2030, ahead of the current 2050 target, ensuring that reducing carbon emissions is embedded in all relevant council decision making;
- Develop carbon reduction pathways, climate compliant strategies and plans, working with the County Council, LEP and other partners in both the public and private sector to prioritise all opportunities to introduce such zero carbon and sustainable policies, action plans and targets;
- Undertake a Local Plan review where the borough proposes policies for adoption in all areas that will drive zero carbon and sustainable development in Basingstoke and Deane;
- Ensure local people are able to contribute to the formulation and scrutiny of the strategic actions needed to address the environment and climate emergency by consulting on proposals and by organizing an annual 'Tackling the Environment and Climate Emergency' meeting, hosted by the Community, Environment and Partnerships Committee, in addition to the wide-range of existing opportunities for local people to make representations to the council;
- Receive a report in early 2020 on what strategic actions the Council is taking to address the environment and climate emergency, including an action plan and milestones to achieve emission reductions within the council's control, and to share details of representations being made to other institutions to achieve reductions in emissions outside of the council's direct control.
The documents listed below set out steps taken to date and will be updated as progress is made.
The Council's Climate Change Strategy
The council adopted a new Climate Change Strategy in April 2014 to set out how it is seeking to address the issue of climate change locally. It included the adoption of national targets around carbon emission reductions and the use of renewable energy. The following three pledges underpin the work the council is doing on climate change:
- To lead by example in reducing its carbon emissions year on year.
- To help residents, community groups and businesses to reduce their emissions and manage climate risks.
- To work with partners to help raise awareness and support initiatives to reduce and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
The council refreshed its strategy in 2017, to bring it up to speed with other local and national developments in the climate change agenda. Read the updated Climate Change Strategy.
Some of the council's recent activity in areas addressing climate change have been summarised in this handy infographic, Activity on Climate Change.
Climate local commitment
In Summer 2014, the council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Service and the Environment, Councillor Hayley Eachus signed the Climate Local Commitment. This recognises that our council has an important role to help our residents and businesses to capture the opportunities and benefits of action on climate change. These include saving money on energy bills, generating income from renewable energy, attracting new jobs and investment in ‘green’ industries, supporting new sources of energy, managing local flood-risk and water scarcity and protecting our natural environment.
Sustainable living is about promoting social, economic and environmental wellbeing all at the same time. The aim is to improve the quality of life for people today as well as thinking about those who will live after us. This means achieving social and economic progress but without draining or damaging the resources in the natural environment that actually support our own survival.
We are committed to working towards sustainable development as set out in our Sustainability Policy which can be viewed below. Sustainable Development is included in the Sustainable Community Strategy providing a vision to improve quality of life for everyone who lives, works in or visits the area.
Our Sustainability Policy can be viewed below:
Carbon Management achievements
Carbon reduction - 2007 to 2012
We successfully reduced our carbon emissions by 21% between 2007 and 2012, please see report below. We are continuing to drive forward low carbon actions and behaviours to achieve more reductions, further financial savings and to present a good example to communities and partners in the borough.
Carbon Management Study - November 2012
Working with URS Scott Wilson, we produced a Carbon Management Study, which you can read below setting out how the council would reduce its carbon footprint over the next few years. This study has helped inform budgetary decisions and fed into the review of the Climate Change Strategy. A commitment has been made to reduce carbon emissions in the council's own buildings and operations year on year. Take a look at the Carbon Reporting documents below for more details on progress to date.
Heat Networks Study
In 2017, the council carried out a Heat Mapping and Energy Masterplanning study. Funding was awarded from the Heat Network Delivery Unit, part of the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy for the work, which focused on identifying potential for developing heats network within Basingstoke.
A Heat Network is a series of insulated pipes, delivering heat to several buildings, from one central source such as a large boiler. This replaces the need for a boiler in each building and is a much more efficient way of heating, particularly when the demand for heating is high.
The final reports of the work can be found below. The recommendations of the study are now being taken forward by the council and other project partners.
The outcomes showed that the North Hampshire Hospital site would provide the greatest opportunity for a heat network system, so in 2018 a further study was commissioned. This was part funded again by the government's Heat Network Distribution Unit and assessed the feasibility and techno-economic potential of the site; the results can be seen in the attached reports below.
Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA)
As part of our work in supporting residents to heat their homes more efficiently, we have published a Statement of Intent, which outlines how we will determine households eligible for support through the government’s Energy Company Obligation scheme. This is called Flexible Eligibility and allows us to set criteria which go beyond the list of certain benefits which otherwise qualify residents for funding to install energy efficiency measures. If you would like to further information please contact the Climate Change Team using the message link at the bottom of the page.
The HECA requires all local authorities to produce annual reports on domestic energy performance across all residential properties in their area. Reports have to set out actions and opportunities that councils are proposing to improve the energy efficiency of housing in their areas, reduce fuel poverty and cut carbon emissions.
Our HECA reports for 2014, 2015 and 2017 are available to view below.
Information on support and advice available for businesses
Please see our Climate change for business page for information on support and advice available for businesses.
Contact the team
Climate Change team
If you have an enquiry about climate change or sustainability, send a message to the Climate Change Team