West Lindsey pleased with progress towards ambitious net-zero target

West Lindsey District Council’s ambitious target of being net-zero by 2050 has seen energy improvement grants totalling more than £1.3 million bring awarded to the authority in the last 18 months – and their action plan is on track too.

WLDC Climate Strategy

The money is being used to help make homes in the district greener, warmer, and help householders reduce energy bills.

Successful applicants have used funds to deliver a range of energy improvements where they are most needed – such as off gas grid properties, and low energy efficiency homes owned by low-income families.

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Last week, the Prosperous Communities Committee received a scheduled update report on the progress of the Council’s Climate, Environment and Sustainability Action Plan.

The report, presented by officers, showcased some of the work that has taken place since the action plan was approved last summer, including:

 Solar PV and battery storage and electric vehicle charging points installed and operating at a new energy efficient waste depot -utilising Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund monies.

 Separate Paper & Card Collections for residents and businesses introduced to improve environmental impact of West Lindsey District Council’s waste management operations

 Working with the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan to develop Energy, Climate and Flood Policies. New Internal Flood Management Strategy Board Established to help protect residents from the worst impacts of future events.

The report detailed the governance arrangements that have been put in place along with the training and resources that will be needed to further entrench them, and the future monitoring and progress reporting schedule.

Councillors have also committed to including climate change, environment, and sustainability factors as a mandatory considerations whenever council decisions are made.

Steve Leary, Policy and Strategy Officer, Climate, Sustainability and Environment said: “To achieve our ambitious net zero carbon emission target before 2050 and continue to safeguard and improve our environment, we need to ensure we are all pulling together and these factors are always at the forefront of every decision we make.

“From now on, when we develop or change a policy, project, service, function, or strategy, we’ll produce a structured report to identify the impact of the activity on the environment, and the impact a changing climate may have on the activity.

“This Climate, Environment and Sustainability Impact Assessment is an easy-to-use support tool which generates an infographic showing a simple visual key to the main environmental costs and benefits of any given decision. It is quite a big systematic change, but that is exactly what is needed to tackle the climate crisis together.”

Coun Tracey Coulson, Chair of the council’s Environment and Sustainability Member Working group said: “2021 has been an exceptionally challenging year for the world and not least for us here in West Lindsey.

"As a Council, much of our attention and resource has been focused on the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on our residents and businesses.

“Climate change, however, remains the most significant challenge of our time for the planet and for our district. Its impacts on all our lives will continue long after the pandemic has been beaten.

“Since the publication of our Climate, Environment and Sustainability Action Plan in June last year, we have continued to work hard on this agenda, and I’m delighted that we are making excellent progress against our plans.

"Our key target of a net-zero West Lindsey by 2050 still stands, but of course we must all strive to get there as soon as we can.”

A copy of the Sustainability, Climate and Environment Strategy Environment Strategy is available to read on the Council’s website.