Somerset West and Taunton has been ranked as the top performing district council in analysis by the campaign group Climate Emergency UK.
Somerset West and Taunton was the only council to score above 90% in the Council Climate Plan Scorecards and was one of only 21 to get top marks for its plans to improve biodiversity and combat the ecological emergency.
Cllr Dixie Darch, Executive Member for Climate Change, said: “We are beyond proud to be the top ranking district council. Congratulations are due to all officers and councillors, past and present, who have worked to put us in this position.
“We are committed to creating a more sustainable future for everyone, putting climate and environmental responsibility at the heart of everything we do. This involves direct action and policy, partnership working, enabling organisations and communities, leading by example and supporting individuals.
“The challenge has never been greater for local councils: it is essential we rise to that challenge. “
Climate Emergency UK is a not-for-profit cooperative which has been working to share best practice about what councils can do to tackle the climate and ecological emergency and encourage effective action.
It has created a database of UK local authority climate & ecological emergency declarations and action plans, with all written Climate Action Plans assessed to create the Council Climate Plan Scorecards.
SWT has declared its authority boundaries as a fracking free zone, as well as declaring climate and ecological emergencies with pledges to manage council services, buildings and land in a biodiversity-friendly manner; and embed ecological initiatives alongside climate action in all work areas.
It has recently entered into a partnership agreement with Sedgemoor District Council to deliver joint climate change actions across both districts in accordance with its Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience (CNCR) Action Plan.
SWT has joined forces with Sedgemoor, Mendip and South Somerset district councils and Somerset County Council – which was the top performing county council in the analysis – to create an overarching Climate Emergency Strategy for the whole county.
More information about SWT’s climate change actions can be found on our website – www.somersetwestandtaunton.gov.uk/climate-emergency/taking-action/