Essex Climate Action Commission Publishes Interim Report

19th November 2020 - 18:01

The Essex Climate Action Commission has published its Interim Report outlining its first tranche of recommendations for Essex.

The Commission, which was established in early 2020, has been asked to provide independent advice on the steps that Essex must take to become a net zero emissions county by 2050. The Commission, chaired by Lord Randall, a former government environment advisor, includes climate experts including academics, scientists, councillors and business leaders as well as representatives from the Young Essex Assembly. 

The Interim Report warns of the impacts of an already changing climate in Essex including increased risk of flooding, hotter and more stormy weather, coastal erosion, as well as threats to agriculture and food production. These will only increase if we fail to cut our greenhouse emissions.

Good practice which is already happening across the county is acknowledged including the commitment to planting £1 million worth of trees, building energy efficient homes and schools, switching to LED street lighting and the introduction of more low traffic neighbourhoods.

The report identifies a range of additional short-term actions as well as long-term goals to address the impact of climate change. These are grouped into the themes of transport, the built environment and adapting to an already changing climate. The final report will include recommendations on energy, waste and community engagement.

The report acknowledges that no one organisation or sector can solve the climate crisis. It states that the public sector must demonstrate leadership and galvanise support from partners, communities and citizens both locally and nationally.

Chair of the Essex Climate Action Commission, Lord Randall, said: “We would ask  Essex County Council’s Cabinet, and the cabinets of city, district and borough councils in Essex to carefully consider our Interim Report and the recommendations we have put forward to make Essex a net zero county by 2050. We all need to take responsibility for acting on climate change. We need to take positive action now to improve our lives and livelihoods and those of future generations. It is only by acting now that we can have real impact.”

The Commission is expected to produce its full report in summer 2021 with a wide range of cross-cutting recommendations for public sector bodies, businesses and communities across Essex to consider. 

Cllr Simon Walsh, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Action said: “I would like to thank the Commission for its hard work in helping us all to understand fully the impact of climate change and the practical steps that we can take to help address it. I very much welcome this Interim Report and look forward to receiving the full report next year.” 

Read the report below