Climate change is a defining issue of today and will have serious impacts for future generations. In response to the climate crisis, the two Councils and the County Council have committed to achieve net zero carbon (see glossary) by 2050.
Net zero carbon means, on balance, not creating more CO2 than is stored up or offset. Any carbon emissions we create through burning fossil fuels must be balanced out by schemes to absorb it back out of the atmosphere – such as planting trees or using technology such as carbon capture and storage. In reality we can only absorb and offset a small amount of CO2. This means the vast majority of our energy needs must be met by renewable forms of energy, and this will only be possible by reducing our energy use drastically.
The Local Plan (see glossary) will play a key part in helping us achieve this challenge, but this will affect how we address other priorities that are important to the area. It will influence where we plan for development, and how it is designed – and this may not be welcomed by everyone, as we will have to plan for low-carbon lifestyles and encourage low carbon activities and alternatives to private car use. We want to hear from you about how we should best meet the climate challenge and balance this with other issues for the Local Plan.