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South Hams District Council says it has secured an "additional £600,000 in Green Homes Grants" and is planning on installing electric vehicle charging points to help tackle climate change.
SHDC says it has "ambitious plans to tackle climate change and increase biodiversity in the region", with two of the lastest "achievements" being the securing of £600,000 in "additional funding to make local homes more energy efficient" and "moving forward with plans to equip the district with additional EV charging points".
In December 2020, members adopted an updated Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, which recognised the need to take decisive action now to ensure the district becomes Net Zero by 2050. On-going monitoring, with a report every six-months, reassures councillors and local residents that the aims outlined in this important plan are met. The latest progress will be discussed at the council’s executive meeting on Thursday, 3 June.
Key areas of progress highlighted in the report to council include:
A spokesperson for SHDC said: "The success of the council’s approach to climate change and the Community Forum has been highlighted in a case study by the Local Government Association https://www.local.gov.uk/case-studies/developing-community-forum-help-tackle-climate-change-and-increase-biodiversity.
"The council has also been invited to present at the Sustainable Earth Conference organised by Plymouth University in June 2021."The report also notes the Council’s ’agile’ approach to working has resulted in significant carbon savings since January 2021 of an estimated 300,000 miles of travel, leading to an estimated saving of over 100tCO2e (Tonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent)."
Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: “We are determined to tackle the issues of climate change and biodiversity quickly and efficiently. We’re taking direct action to cut our own emissions as an organisation and instigate a District-wide approach to change as well as using our position to apply for any funding that can be fed into community groups who are doing an excellent job with projects on a very local level.“It’s great to see the positive steps we have already taken to achieve our goals set out last year. Whilst switching to green energy is important, we know that reducing energy consumption is also key to achieving Net Zero goals. Insulating homes can make a big difference to emissions, as well as bills, so it’s great news that we have the funding to improve insulation for many more local homes.
"We also know that access to more EV charging points is increasingly important as more car owners switch to electric. With more EV charging points across the District, and more in the pipeline, both local residents and our visitors will find it easier to drive green.“We know there is still much more to be done to achieve Net Zero but residents can be reassured that our nationally recognised Community Forum is doing a fantastic job of identifying funding, projects and opportunities. I look forward to the next report in six-months, when I hope again to be able to share details of many more projects that take positive action to tackle climate change and improve biodiversity.”Since the council declared a Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency in July 2019, officers have continued to work on tasks and projects that will help the district to become Net Zero by 2050. These include reducing the council’s own carbon emissions, continuing to work with partners, including the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group and our Joint Local Plan partners, Plymouth City Council and West Devon Borough Council, and to increase biodiversity by 10 per cent in its green and wooded public habitats by 2025.Any new opportunities and initiatives will be updated in the continually evolving Action Plan as they arise.To find out more about the council’s commitment to the Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency, visit:www.climatechange.southhams.gov.uk/achievements-and-activityTo find out more about the Green Homes Grants, please visit: https://southhams.gov.uk/ReduceFuelBills
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