1. That the revised Carbon Neutrality Action Plan for 2023-2030 be adopted.
2. That the Corporate Head of Service: Economy & Community be given delegated authority to make minor changes to the Carbon Neutrality Action Plan with regard to design and text amendments and to up-date data prior to publication.
3. That the council work with stakeholders to further develop performance monitoring and set out task and finish groups to accelerate work on priority actions.
Councillor Learney introduced the report emphasising that carbon neutrality remained a key priority for the district. She confirmed that the Plan (CNAP) would be amended to take account of additional data for 2021 recently received from the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero. In addition, other minor amendments were proposed to improve the clarity and consistency of language used.
Jo Crocker (WinACC) spoke during public participation as summarised briefly below.
She fully supported the stated aim to “go greener faster” and welcomed the CNAP as progress towards this aim. She applauded the principles and processes proposed, particularly the use of working groups. She offered WinACCs assistance in ensuring the figures used in the CNAP were accurate, clearly stated and explained. In addition she requested that targets each year between now and 2030 be included with each of the pathways and that the wording on renewals be amended to make clear that 50MW was a minimum. In particular, she emphasised the importance of the proposed new task and finish group on renewable energy and that the CNAP should reflect the government’s stated target to decarbonise the national grid by 2035.
Councillor Learney thanked WinACC for their support and confirmed that all the points raised would be addressed by minor amendments to the CNAP prior to publication.
At the invitation of the Leader, Councillors Wallace, Lee and Bolton addressed Cabinet as summarised briefly below.
He emphasised the critical importance of the CNAP and queried the lack of opportunity for review and input from members prior to consideration by Cabinet. He requested that the adoption of the CNAP be deferred to enable this wider member consultation to take place.
He welcomed the commitment to net zero but highlighted that a significant percentage of the CNAPs top three priority interventions were in areas beyond the council’s control. He noted that various mitigation measures were suggested but considered these were either too small or too far in the future to provide the necessary mitigation. He queried whether the investment strategy had been produced. He suggested that the council consider a collaborative approach to campaigning for the Hampshire pension fund to move away from fossil fuel investments. He asked whether there had been a full analysis of the list of stakeholders.
He queried the effectiveness of the annual reporting of the carbon emission KPI in terms of monitoring delivery towards the net zero aim. He highlighted the inclusion of Extinction Rebellion in the list of stakeholders and queried how interactions with stakeholders would be structured. He expressed concern that the report had not been considered by members at the Scrutiny Committee. He also expressed concern about the proposals to invest in schemes to build renewable energy providers and the use of carbon credits.
Councillor Learney and the Strategic Director responded to the comments raised by members, including emphasising that the CNAP would be revised again prior to 2030 to take account of the changing national situation. In ... view the full minutes text for item 9