Agenda item

Net Zero Carbon 2045: A Roadmap for Leicestershire


The Committee considered a report of the Director of Environment and Transport which updated Members on the Council’s response to the climate emergency, and advised on the key findings from the Net Zero Carbon 2045 roadmap and an overview of the approach to develop the Council’s Net Zero Strategy and Action Plan. A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item ‘10’ is filed with these minutes. 


Arising from the discussion the following points arose:-


       i.          The County Council’s pledge to achieve net zero across the county by 2045 could not be achieved by the Council alone. As part of the development of the Net Zero Strategy and Action Plan it needed to consider its own role in place leadership to create a holistic approach to tackle climate change.


     ii.          Members recognised that like the County Council, most districts had declared climate emergencies and set aside funding, or at least aspired, to address climate issues. In developing its roadmap, the Authority would work with existing partnerships, and look to support organisations such as parish and town councils that may not have the skills or experience available, which was welcomed by the Committee.


    iii.          Members were assured that the Authority would consider where gaps existed in its partnership work and use other mediums, such as the potential development of a Citizen’s Assembly, to engender awareness and action with the public as well as local organisations.


    iv.          Ongoing initiatives were highlighted and welcomed by the Committee, such as wildflower verges and the development of a tree nursery, as well as positive partnership work with the City Council following the funding the City had received from Government for their electric bus fleet.


     v.          It was recognised that the County Council had limited resource available to it alone. Instead it needed to focus on working with other organisations and the public to show it was in their best interests financially and environmentally to take positive action towards carbon neutrality.


    vi.          A member emphasised that the drive to net zero was not only about carbon reduction, but had overall health benefits too. Further commenting on the importance of a joined up approach and messaging, having noted the balance between coronavirus measures to ventilate schools and the need to heat them, which resulted in increased energy consumption.


  vii.          The Committee welcomed local initiatives and good practice reported by Members, such as the local Brooksby Melton College’s free Climate Change and Environmental Awareness Course, that promised to plant a tree for every course completed.


 viii.          As part of the Authority’s pledge to become a carbon neutral county by 2045 the County Council had promised to plant 700,000 trees, recognising their importance in  providing positive benefits for  the environment, clean air and biodiversity. To enable the public to monitor its progress the Council had developed an interactive tree map and form where individuals could record trees that had been planted. Members noted the Council’s website also included further information on tree species and planting advice and how to get involved.


    ix.          It was projected that the county could lose up to half a million Ash trees due to Ash Dieback. Of those, 140,000 were on highway verges under the Authority’s ownership. To manage the disease the County Council had launched its own Action Plan through work with the Tree Council, and undertook monitoring and annual surveys whilst taking appropriate action following its risk based approach. The Director informed Members that officers also supported private landowners to help ensure they were aware of the condition of their trees and had access to relevant information on the matter.


     x.          In response to a query regarding water leakage, Members were informed that the County Council had no powers to enforce water companies to resolve leakages faster and that it was the duty of the regulatory body and to scrutinise and enforce standards.


    xi.          The County Council was limited in how it could respond as a consultee to planning applications to district and borough councils by the National Planning Policy Framework.




a)    That the report and information now provided be noted;

b)    That the comments now made be considered by Cabinet as part of its report on 29 March 2022.


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