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WCA Report on WC progress

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The report can be downloaded from this LINK

Wiltshire Council falling behind on its climate emergency commitments


Two years after Wiltshire Council acknowledged the climate emergency and sought to make Wiltshire carbon neutral in 2030, little has been achieved. Wiltshire Climate Alliance has now produced a report identifying where the Council is falling behind, making five key recommendations on how it can accelerate delivery. While the Council has made some progress on its own greenhouse gas emissions, it is not acting with the urgency required to deliver meaningful reductions across the county by 2030, and it continues to support developments that will increase emissions.

Urgent action now is critical if the planet is to avoid dangerous climate change. Local councils, as well as national governments, must play their part in delivering the required year on year reductions in emissions. After two years, the Council has not completed a strategy for reducing emissions, nor has it set any quantified reduction targets. Meanwhile, it continues to approve new housing built to less than carbon zero standards, despite having the power to require this now. It continues to develop major new road schemes and urban extensions that will significantly increase emissions and increase dependency on private cars.

WCA recommends the Council urgently take the following five actions to accelerate delivery and achieve the required reductions in emissions:

  1. Recommit to acting on the climate emergency as its top priority, setting and reporting on year on year reduction targets, and making carbon reduction an integral part of ALL Council policies.

  2. Publish a comprehensive carbon reduction strategy and plan by end April

  3. Use existing powers under the Planning and Energy Act 2008 to set net zero

    standards now for all new build houses in Wiltshire

  4. Start investing in projects that reduce emissions, including renewable energy,

    tree planting, and electric vehicle infrastructure, diverting funds from high

    carbon projects such as road schemes

  5. Use existing planning powers to stop or postpone developments that will

    significantly increase emissions, and make carbon reduction a priority in all planning decisions from now on.

Bill Jarvis of WCA said: ‘Wiltshire Council already has the power to do much of what is needed to achieve its climate emergency goals. There is no time to waste. The Council needs to start treating climate change as the emergency it has already acknowledged, and act quickly and decisively to bring about the radical change required.’

The report can be downloaded from this LINK

Notes to Editors

  1. Wiltshire Climate Alliance (WCA) was founded in January 2020, in the run-up to the first anniversary of the Climate Emergency motion, to give a united voice to the many local environmental groups across Wiltshire. WCA now has over 300 individual members representing over 30 local groups whose membership exceeds 1500 people. WCA has pledged to support the Council’s climate change efforts, and to hold it accountable in keeping its commitment to seek to make Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030. WCA website:

  2. Wiltshire Council passed a motion on 26th February 2019 acknowledging the climate emergency, and seeking to make Wiltshire carbon neutral by 2030. The text of the motion is available here:

  3. WCA contacts for further information: Bill Jarvis Tel: 07881414842; Adam Walton Tel: 7980817656

  4. WCA’s full progress report is available at:

  5. Both the Tyndall Centre and Friends of the Earth estimate that Wiltshire needs to be cutting its carbon emissions by 13.5% per year from now to achieve carbon zero by 2050.

  6. The UK Government is committed to keeping global heating to within the 1.5 degrees increase identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) as the maximum increase to avoid dangerous and irreversible climate change. The UK Parliament’s Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget requires the UK to achieve a 68% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 on the path to net zero by 2050. Boris Johnson recently said: “Unless we take urgent action, we will get 3C hotter. As a country, as a society, as a planet and as a species, we must now act.”

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