Lincolnshire leaders say county is “ahead of the game” at climate summit

Lincolnshire County Council is “not just ahead of the game, but leaving government departments in its wake,” local leaders have told the region’s first climate summit on Wednesday.

The Lincolnshire Climate Summit at the Showground brought together local businesses and organisations which aim to help solve climate issues, as well as featuring a series of talks by local environmental leaders.

However, it also featured a series of warnings over future challenges for the county ahead of the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow at the end of October.

Councillor Colin Davie, Lincolnshire County Council’s portfolio holder for environment, said the event was an “opportunity to both celebrate what we’re already doing, but also to start the conversations and spark the aspirations — that’s going to lead to further innovation”.

“I’m very pleased to tell you that Lincolnshire and your county council are not just ahead of the game, but leaving government departments in its wake,” he told the delegation.

He said this included the authority reducing its own carbon emissions by more than 60% since 1990 and setting a new target of a 68% reduction by 2025.

This came, he said, through investment in energy efficiency, roof mounted solar panels, and buying electricity from renewable sources.

He also pointed to recently announced plans to hold a series of carbon neutral events at Lincoln Castle and, further, to make it the first zero carbon tourist attraction in the county.

Staff at LCC are also set to be surveyed around a salary sacrifice scheme in order to supply them with low emission or electric vehicles.

However, he warned the council was only responsible for 0.5% of the county’s carbon emissions and said there was much more work to do to encourage improvements from local businesses, to grow the wind farm energy production of the county, and also to improve transport and agriculture.

He also called on the government to do more and said ministers and council bosses should all lead by example.

Andy Gutherson, executive director of place at the council, told the conference the “low hanging fruit” had been dealt with, but added: “The next sort of set changes require further investment further ambition to actually achieve that and we’re not going to do that alone.

“It requires all of us in this room to work together to actually pull in the same direction, look at the opportunities to work together to actually achieve those ambitions.”