Climate emergency

We recognised the UK climate emergency at a County Council meeting on 23 May 2019.

KCC recognises the UK environment and climate emergency and will continue to commit resources and align its policies to address this. Through the framework of the Energy and Low Emissions Strategy, KCC will facilitate the setting and agreement of a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 for Kent and Medway.

KCC will by May 2020, set an accelerated target with associated action plan for its own estate and activities including those of its traded companies using appropriate methodologies. KCC will in addition deliver a Kent and Medway Climate Change Risk and Impact Report and develop and facilitate adoption of a subsequent Kent and Medway Climate Change Adaptation Implementation Plan by the end of March 2020.

Kent County Council

You can view the County Council webcast (from 2:33:31) or read the meeting minutes (item 145a).

You can read about the causes and impacts of climate change at GOV.UK.

Action so far

We have already made significant progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our own estate and activities.

Between 2010 and 2019 we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 45%. This includes reducing emissions from:

  • highways lighting by 54%
  • buildings we own by 33%
  • fleet fuel by 57%
  • claimed business travel by 32%.

We have also funded 100 energy saving projects, and completed 50 renewable energy projects in schools and our buildings.

Our projects include:

  • solar panels
  • heat pumps
  • wind turbines.

Next steps

Our services and buildings

We are identifying the most cost-effective actions we can take to reduce emissions from our buildings, business travel and the services we provide.

In May 2020 we will set an accelerated target to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions emitted from our buildings and activities to net-zero.

Until then, we will continue to implement projects that reduce our carbon footprint, including new solar panel installations and energy efficiency measures.

Our county

We are also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the whole county.

Working with Medway Council and all 12 district and borough councils, we have prepared the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy, which sets out how the county will achieve net-zero emissions, reduce fuel poverty and eliminate poor air quality, whilst supporting clean, sustainable economic growth.

The draft strategy was consulted on in summer 2019, and the final strategy will be published in spring 2020.

We will also publish an updated climate change risk and impact assessment in spring 2020.

Related strategies

We continue to work on our existing climate and environmental plans which include: