This is what Derbyshire County Council is doing to tackle climate change

Derbyshire County Council (DCC) chiefs have outlined what they are doing to tackle climate change – after concerns were raised.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 10:53 am
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 10:59 am
County Hall in Matlock.

Ahead of next Thursday’s local elections, a coalition of more than 30 Derbyshire environmental groups and more than 300 Derbyshire residents have appealed to their county council election candidates asking them to support a climate campaign.

One of those residents, Anne Thoday, of the Derbyshire Climate Coalition group, said: “I work for DCC as a social worker and while the authority has some great green schemes in the pipeline, I have not found as an employee I been given any training or information about carbon reduction policies.

Floods in Matlock last year. Picture by Jamie Bird.

“I am dismayed by the way currently DCC has an environmental policy in place which is not being enacted at the front-line of council work.”

In response, a DCC spokesperson said: “DCC has set ambitious targets to tackle climate change by reducing emissions from its estate and property to net zero by 2032 and from across the county to net zero by 2050.

“We’re focussing on actions and measures to help drive down carbon emissions and we’re on track to publish our Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan this summer which will set out what we will do and when over the coming years to meet these targets.

“Work we’re already doing to help tackle climate change includes de-carbonising our vehicle fleet with electric vehicles and the use of other low emission fuels for HGVs, working in partnership with district and borough councils and private enterprise to install electric vehicle charging points and investing in the county’s Key Cycle Network.

“We’ve just launched a £2million Green Entrepreneurs Fund programme where eligible small and medium sized businesses with up to 250 staff and micro-business with up to 10 staff can apply for grants designed to kick-start the county’s carbon reduction and alternative energy agenda and boost local businesses. And we’re continuing our work to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and increase recycling and composting.

“We’re also in the process of installing low carbon heating at three of our buildings and will continue to retro-fit buildings as funds become available as part of our long-term plan to review council assets. In addition, we’re working with districts and borough councils to use government funding to retro-fit housing as well as working with them to develop a county-wide approach to energy projects.

“Work to draw-up a ‘natural capital’ strategy has also started. This will look at what natural assets Derbyshire has and what it needs more of along with what measures need to be put in place and where, to replace these resources when we use them.

“We recognise the key role our employees have to play in helping to reduce our carbon footprint. Our Climate Change and Sustainability training is available to all staff online and we’ve also piloted an eight-hour Carbon Literacy Training Programme for employees and are currently considering how we can roll this out more widely. We recently held a series of 10 climate change workshops which involved a mix of councillors and staff and we’re also looking to include climate change and sustainability as part of the induction programme for new members of staff.”

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