Responding to Climate Change
Responding to Climate Change
Human influence on climate has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century. Global temperatures have already increased by 1°C from pre-industrial levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in 2018, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise. The report informs us that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities.
We all have a part to play, which is why on 13th May 2021, a resolution was considered and approved by the annual resident’s meeting (Annual Towns Meeting) asking the Town Council to “produce a Climate Change and Environmental Strategy by November 2021 to:
- Pledge to make the activities of Braunstone Town Council carbon neutral and embed climate and environmental awareness in all our decision making.
- Promote and encourage awareness and action on climate change, environmental protection and recycling by local residents, businesses and community organisations.
- Put climate change at the heart of our procurement policies including moving to the use of renewable energy sources for its activities and encourage its customers and suppliers to do likewise.
- Protect and enhance the town’s Green spaces, promote and encourage tree planting, and seek to increase and enrich biodiversity”.
Climate Change & Environmental Strategy
Following consultation during the summer of 2021, the Council adopted a Climate Change & Environmental Strategy on 23rd September 2021. This Climate Change and Environmental Strategy sets out the framework for Braunstone Town Council to deliver the four pledges above.
Carbon Audit of Braunstone Town Council
Due to the nature of the Climate crisis, it is vitally important that the Town Council focuses its efforts and has a clear deliverable plan to respond. To ensure that the Council becomes carbon neutral by 2030, the Strategy committed the Council to “commission a carbon audit of our activities to provide both data on the Council’s carbon footprint along with recommended actions to reduce our carbon footprint”.
The Carbon Audit of Braunstone Town Council was approved by the Council’s Policy & Resources Committee on 24th February 2022.
The audit estimated that Braunstone Town Council’s total carbon footprint from transport and buildings as 133 t/CO2e per annum. The average household consumption carbon footprint in Braunstone Town is 15.4t/CO2e.
The Audit recommends interventions which should produce an overall reduction in carbon emissions by 41% (55 t/CO2e). The investment needed for these interventions was estimated around £128,000.
Section 7 of the Climate Change and Environmental Strategy sets out the Action Planning process, which enables the Council to consider the deliverability of each identified action and its impact, along with available resources, when deciding which actions will be a priority. The recommendations of the Carbon Audit form a significant part of the Action Plan.
The Action Plan sets out:
- Nature of Action to be delivered;
- Reason for inclusion, i.e. why is it needed;
- Benefits to the Council and the Community;
- Resources Required;
- Potential Barriers to Delivery;
- Summary of steps and sub-actions required to deliver;
- Timescales for Delivery; short-term, medium-term, long-term; and
- Priority Level.
The Climate Change & Environment Action Plan for June 2022 to March 2024 was approved by the Policy & Resources Committee on 16th June 2022.
Actions completed include:
- Implementation of sustainable Procurement objectives (April 2023);
- Bike to Work Scheme (April 2023);
- installation of Electric Vehicle Charging points at community facilities (May 2023).
Actions underway include:
- Installation of an air source heat pump at Thorpe Astley Community Centre (estimated July 2023);
- improvements to Walking and Cycling Routes; and
- installation of solar PV panels at the Council's Community Facilities (estimated August 2023).
The Town Council is responsible for most of the Town’s Parks and Open Spaces. These urban green spaces not only provide for sport, recreation and play but also for an enriched natural environment protecting the Town from and mitigating the effects of climate change and air pollution.
Therefore, as part of the Climate Change and Environmental Strategy, a commitment was made to “produce an Environment and Biodiversity Strategy for our Parks and Open Spaces, which will set out the Council’s approach to tree planting and maintenance, along with the Council’s commitment to enhancing and enriching biodiversity”.
Following consultation the Environment and Biodiversity Strategy was adopted by Policy & Resources Committee on 28th April 2022. To read the adopted Environment & Biodiversity Strategy, please visit our Policies and Strategies pages, or go directly to the Enviroment & Biodiversity Strategy page here.
The Council is in the process of commissioning a study of the Council’s Parks & Open Spaces in order to develop a Management Plan to deliver the objectives in the Environment & Biodiversity Strategy.
Updated: June 2023.