Use this page to understand how we're putting our priorities into action to address the Climate and Ecological Emergencies.
Responding to the Climate and Ecological Emergencies is one of two core policies in our Corporate Strategy 2020-2024. The urgency of our response is council-wide and we are taking action across many different areas.
To make buildings in the area more environmentally friendly, we are taking several actions:
- Providing expert advice on local home energy efficiency and signposting to grants and loans to help cover costs through the Energy at Home advice service.
- Enforcing the Sustainable Construction Checklist, which requires a 100% reduction in carbon emissions beyond the national Building Regulations.
- Allocating budget to make our own buildings more environmentally friendly and developing renewable energy projects within the estate.
- Working with schools to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings.
- Exploring community options for home energy efficiency, such as the Cold Homes Energy Efficiency Survey Experts Project, which uses thermal imaging to show heat loss in people’s homes and suggests solutions.
- New housing development policy ensures the energy use of any proposed development is measured and meets a specified target ensuring the development is 100% self-sufficient. Read more about the Local Plan Partial Update.
To enable more sustainable transport choices, we are taking several actions:
- Read our Journey to Net Zero report.
- Continuing to implement the Clean Air Zone.
- Expanding the public electric vehicle charging network across Bath and North East Somerset with funding from the Go Ultra Low West Project, including rapid charging points in public car parks.
- Consulting on three active travel schemes; City Centre to University of Bath cycle route, A4 Upper Bristol Road segregated cycle lanes, Combe Down to University of Bath walking and cycling route.
- Prioritising pedestrians and cyclists in new Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and review residents’ parking schemes.
- Developing the business case for The Bath River Line Project and East of Bath cycle route.
- Continuing to promote sustainable travel in schools through the school journeys app and awarding schools for their sustainable travel choices using ModeShift stars.
- Piloting a last-mile delivery service to reduce supplier journeys into Bath.
- Working with Bristol, South Glos and North Somerset WECA Mass Transit Project to improve mass transit between Bath and Bristol.
- Reducing emissions from our operational fleet of vehicles, including increased training in fuel-efficient driving and replacing smaller vehicles with electric vehicles.
- Continuing to implement our flexible staff working policy which supports homeworking to reduce travel and promote sustainable transport options, as well as offering salary sacrifice schemes for electric vehicles and bicycles.
To generate more renewable energy and encourage residents to switch to renewable energy sources, we are taking several actions:
- Continuing to use renewable energy across all of our energy contracts since switching to 100% renewable energy in April 2021.
- Amending and updating planning policies to allow increased renewable energy generation through the Partial Update of the Local Plan. This will help to rapidly increase our renewable energy capacity.
- Continuing to support the three community energy organisations working in the district; Bath and West Community Energy, Keynsham Community Energy and Chelwood Community Energy.
- Encouraging our contractors, service partners, and other stakeholders to procure renewable energy.
To encourage and continue efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle, we are taking several actions:
- Launching our new Journey Towards Zero Waste Strategy 2020-2030 which proposes to adopt and exceed the national target of 65% recycling by 5 years, to be complete in 2030.
- Increasing the number of households that recycle their food waste.
- Designing new waste facilities designed to a net-zero standard. Read about progress on the new Keynsham Recycling Hub.
- Promoting a communications campaign to tackle litter, encouraging litter picking and increase volunteer engagement.
To protect green infrastructure and biodiversity, we are taking several actions:
- Establishing and developing the Bath & North East Somerset Tree & Woodland Delivery Plan.
- Launching our new Ecological Emergency Action Plan.
- Implementing a range of projects that contribute to tackling the ecological emergency, nature-based solutions and habitat restoration, such as: Bathscape; Bath River Line; Waterspace Programme; Somer Valley Rediscovered; connecting the Cotswold and Mendip AONBs, and the Chew Valley Catchment project.
- Continuing to promote grassland habitat diversity, supporting the connectivity of pollinator habitats and reviewing the management of parks and green spaces through campaigns like 'Let's get buzzing’.
- Continuing to run the Neighbourhood Nature Area scheme to allow residents to plant wildflowers on local verges or other small green spaces.
To enable us to lead sustainably and help us reach our goals, we are taking several actions
- Developing a sustainable procurement process to ensure we can access the most sustainable supplies and services
- Offering climate literacy training to all staff within the council
- Working to incorporate climate and ecological risks into audits
For more detail on how we continue to respond to the Climate Emergency, read the Climate Emergency Strategy.