Responding to the Climate Emergency
The impacts of climate breakdown are already causing serious damage around the world. The Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018;
(a) describes the enormous harm that a 2°C average rise in global temperatures is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise, and
(b) confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector.
If the world is to stay within 1.5°C rise, developed countries like the UK need to cut emissions faster than poorer countries and achieve net-zero carbon by 2030. Strong policies to cut emissions also have associated health, wellbeing and economic benefits.
In response to the climate threat, Weymouth Town Council have declared a climate emergency and we have committed to making the Council’s activities net zero carbon by 2030. Below are examples of the work that we are doing in response to this.
- June 2020 – Carbon Trust commissioned to produce a Carbon Footprint (2019) Report and a subsequent Mitigation Actions Report for Weymouth Town Council emissions.
- Feb 2021 – Council produced and adopted a Decarbonisation Action Plan based on the baseline information from the Carbon Trust reports and a series of mitigation actions for the next 9 years to work towards achieving carbon zero status.
- May 2021 – The Council have worked with the Dorset Council Emergency Planning & Resilience Department to produce and adopt a Weymouth Community Emergency Plan to support and develop community resilience.
- November 2020 – The Council developed and adopted a new Events & Festival Policy – Requiring all activities from this point on to address environmental and sustainability criteria.
- Pledge to go single use plastic free – stopped using single use plastic items ourselves (Policy in development)
- Adopted a Cycle-to-Work scheme for staff & introduced secure bike lockers
- Bought our first electric vehicle for Park operations
- Cleansing service using first electric van
- Introduced our first electric hand-held tools (hedge trimmers, strimmers) and will continue to replace petrol powered tools with electrical
- Maintaining FREE water refill points along Weymouth & Greenhill beaches
- Encouraged a mobile zero waste shop to come to Weymouth
- Recycling facilities at the Council Offices and along Weymouth Seafront
- Utilising biomass boiler to heat our greenhouses
- Smart metering installed on our electricity supplies
- LED lighting widely installed into Council building assets
- Beach catering, retail operators have a commitment to implementing and maintaining sustainability measures; and to further work with the Council
- Working with partners, including Wessex Water and Dorset Council, has introduced additional FREE water refill locations around the town
- Decarbonisation mitigation actions started – Electrification of the WTC fleet vehicles, increasing solar PV on Council assets, increasing the use of LED lighting and analysis of waste contract
- Encouraging all community groups and organisation that we support to think about and address their input impact on climate change and offer support to help them meet their goals
- Ensure that all planning comments to Dorset Council are consistent with a shift to net-zero carbon by 2030
- Make decisions that discourage fossil fuel car use, withdraw all forms of subsidy to such usage, redirect resources into electric vehicles, walking, cycling provision and improved rail and bus services, and supports projects that help ensure that all citizens can travel to work and education, and access services in an environmentally friendly way
- Ensure that all policy papers submitted to the Council and its Committees include a Climate Change Impact Assessment
- Engage with all relevant local agencies and partners, including Low Carbon Dorset, to help deliver these goals through all relevant strategies, plans and shared resources and send representatives to attend any meetings, events and partner workshops
- Developing a Council policy to reduce the use of single use plastics.
- Produce a Weymouth Active Travel Plan to promote and encourage the use of non-motorised travel
- All new tenant agreements to have a requirement to undertake an environmental assessment and introduce mitigation measures to reduce CO2 emissions and maximise operational practices to reduce, reuse and recycle
- Call on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible, and lobby local MPs to do likewise