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In July 2019, Malvern Hills District Councillors unanimously supported a motion for the Council to declare a Climate Emergency and prepare an action plan by way of response. Over the succeeding five months a huge amount of work has been undertaken not only by councillors and staff of the district council but also with inputs from a considerable number of individuals and partner organisations with particular interests and relevant expertise to contribute to the task.
The resulting plan - Destination Zero: Creating a greener and more sustainable Malvern Hills District - represents the all-important first stage in our commitment to reducing carbon emissions within the district area to net zero – this being our target not only for the council’s own infrastructure and operational environment but for the district area and its communities as a whole.
The council has made an initial commitment of £250,000 to support the plan, the aim of which is to achieve net zero emissions ‘as quickly as possible’ - with its own operations becoming carbon neutral by 2030, and the district as a whole by 2050 at the very latest. That said, it is of course impossible to know with any certainty how long it will take to achieve several of the ambitions and planned actions.
This is only because so much depends of developing technologies and evolving know-how, but also because many of the key actions lie outside the direct control of the council and depend on other agencies and individuals respectively making changes in their practices and behaviours.
Accordingly, we will need to keep our action plan under close review – with progress being monitored on a quarterly basis, and with updates published every six months.
This first iteration of our action plan commits the council to some 56 different actions, many of which still need fuller elaboration on exactly how the challenge will be addressed, precisely which agencies will need to be involved and doing what, and by when achievement might reasonably be expected. But, for the present, we encourage everyone to reflect carefully on the ambitions and commitments set out in this document and to provide feedback and further suggestions.
In this way the document can become the evolving action plan that we want it to be – and one in which we
can all feel we have a stake and sense of shared ownership.
Councillor John Raine, Portfolio Holder for Environment
Councillor Julie Wood, Chair of the Environment Policy Development Panel