Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT) has been recognised as a leader in responding to the climate emergency by the not-for-profit charity CDP.
The Council achieved a score of “A-” (Leadership) for its 2020 disclosure, a major improvement on last year’s score of “C” (Awareness). The disclosure identifies the ways in which we are working to mitigate and adapt to the projected impacts of climate change.
In October, the Council approved its Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience (CNCR) Action Plan and the Somerset Climate Emergency Strategy, final draft versions of which were used to complete the 2020 disclosure.
The score demonstrates that through these documents, SWT has a clear understanding of future climate risks and district-wide emissions, have set emissions reduction targets, and that we are now making strides with implementing our action plan.
A report to SWT’s Full Council in December will detail the current and recent climate related activity of the Council which is contributing to its recognition as a leader, including:
- Working with Western Power Distribution to deliver the “world first” DC Share Pilot which will be a catalyst for the Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in Taunton, levering latent capacity in the local AC electricity network to deliver DC power to 15 rapid EV charging points across three town centre locations.
- Taking forward plans to transition the Council’s pool car fleet to EV in the next few years.
- Delivering a Zero Carbon Affordable Homes Pilot and expanding this into other Council developments, which will see up to 115 very low and zero carbon new council homes built over the next few years to meet local housing need whilst responding to our declared climate emergency.
- Working in partnership with Sedgemoor District Council who, on behalf of a consortium of Somerset authorities, successfully bid to both the Warm Homes Fund and the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme to secure grant funding and advice towards low carbon retrofit of existing Council and private sector homes.
- Launching an E-scooter Trial in Taunton to provide a new sustainable and socially distanced option for travel in the town.
- Delivering emergency repairs and strengthening to sea defences at Blue Anchor Bay and working with Somerset County Council and the Environment Agency to deliver long term protection for the B3191.
Executive Member for Climate Change, Cllr Peter Pilkington, said: “We were aiming to achieve a score of “A” (Leadership) by 2023. This year’s score shows that we have made big strides towards that goal ahead of schedule. This is great news, but we know that there’s still room for improvement and we can’t sit on our laurels!
“The projects we are bringing through now like the E-scooter trial, our Zero Carbon Affordable Housing Pilot, retrofitting homes, and delivering EV charge points show that we are taking our leadership role seriously. These are of course just a small but important part of the puzzle.”
The Snapshot Report from CDP can be viewed on our website https://www.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/media/2488/somerset-west-and-taunton-cdp-snapshot-report.pdf