South Kesteven District Council leaders are to set aside £50,000 to pay for advice and hire a new “climate change officer” as they look to declare a Climate Emergency.
The authority’s cabinet members next week will be told that the authority has reached a point “where inaction is no longer tenable”.
They will be asked to call on the council as a whole to make the declaration and set a number of targets, including:
- Reducing SKDC’s carbon footprint by 2030 and becoming net-zero carbon by 2050 – including its “wholly owned companies”
- Taking a role in reducing that of residents, businesses and other organisations
- Setting up a “Climate Change Action” task and finish group to carry out a full investigation into how the council might work towards the above and consider the latest evidence and advice, and consider any additional budget needs.
- Put aside £50,000 to “enable external advice and the recruitment of a Climate Change Officer straight away to drive forward the Council’s ambition to be net-zero carbon”
Documents before the council warn: :The Council could decide to take no action but it is proposed that a tipping point has been reached where inaction is no longer tenable.”
It adds: “Alternatively, the organisation could take more aggressive action – in line with some councils – and declare that the Authority will be net-zero carbon by 2030, however, without significantly more work it is not possible to accurately gauge the practicalities, implications and costs of this commitment.”
The documents say that achieving the target “involve a radical service redesign” and “require dedicated focus”.
In Lincolnshire, the City Council and North Kesteven District Council have both declared climate emergencies, while Lincolnshire County Council refused to do so.
Boston Borough Council has set up a working group to investigate the issue.
SUBSCRIBE TO LOCAL DEMOCRACY WEEKLY, our exclusive email newsletter with highlights from coverage every week, as well as insights and analysis from our local democracy reporters.