Waverley Borough Council has developed the strongest plan for tackling the climate and ecological emergency of any council in Surrey, according to the data released by Climate Emergency UK in their Council Climate Plan Scorecards.
The Council Climate Plan Scorecards showed Waverley Borough Council scoring 76%, the highest of any council in Surrey. This compares to an average score of 43% for English District Councils and 40% for County Councils.
In September 2019, Waverley Borough councillors voted to adopt the Climate Emergency motion, which sets out the council's aim to become carbon-neutral by 2030 with the action plan and strategy adopted by Full Council on 15 December 2020.
Climate Emergency UK (CE UK) used 28 questions to assess all UK councils Climate Action Plans published online before 20 September 2021 (and written after 2015). The questions included: whether the climate actions are costed; if the actions are assigned to specific teams; do the actions have a clear goal; are residents being engaged with climate action; does the plan include strategies to decarbonise waste, planning and homes or other services that councils are responsible; and does the plan cover areas such as re-skilling the workforce, climate education, governance and funding for climate action.
Councillor Steve Williams, Waverley Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, said:
” I am delighted that our action plan is recognised as being on the right track and recognised as the most developed in Surrey - and the fifth most developed in the country according to the highly detailed and carefully thought through checklist developed by Climate Emergency UK, in partnership with Friends of the Earth, Centre for Alternative Technology, Ashden and Apse Energy. It is a testimony to the way the council has put the response to our climate emergency at the centre of our corporate strategy and it is a testimony to the dedicated, hard work of our sustainability team.
“A robust plan is a precursor towards effective action on climate change, and I hope that we can continue to score well in assessments in future years as Climate Emergency UK assesses the actual steps taken by councils towards eliminating their climate emissions.”
Waverley Borough Council has already set to work on cutting back its carbon emissions and supporting the move towards a net-zero carbon borough by 2030. It has allocated £300,000 to launch action on the climate emergency and is now building zero-carbon homes, developing plans to retrofit council homes to make them more energy efficient as well as making Waverley buildings more sustainable. The council is also supporting community energy hubs, promoting walking and cycling and sustainable transport as well as harnessing solar energy in strategic locations.
You can read more on the council's Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan at Waverley Borough Council - Climate change strategy and action plan.