We spent half of our March meeting discussing the “North Yorkshire Council Climate Change Strategy” with a view to responding both as CASaV and as many as possible of us personally via “Have your say on our climate strategy“, via the paper forms in libraries or directly by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The strategy is a 58 page document, but page 6 summarises the strategy, the introduction on pages 7-9 sets the context and on page 46 has the conclusions. The strategy frames the challenges well and suggests many good ways of thinking about ways of addressing these challenges. Bearing in mind the urgency as just pointed out by the IPCC’s AR6 Synthesis Report, it is disappointing that much of the strategy refers to planning rather than acting and where acting is discussed it is unlike to start before 2024.
The survey asks for your level of confidence that the strategy will achieve its aims, our reading of the strategy is that there is insufficient detail to have confidence that the aims will be achieved.
This post is aimed at helping you to complete the survey, starting with suggestions from our meeting, followed by NYC’s thematic strategy (as shown on page 6), items covered by the NYC strategy and finally some comments on the survey.
It is important that NYC as our elected local government get a strong message from as many members of the North Yorkshire populations as possible that we want North Yorkshire to go further and faster in the reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increase resilience to climate change and recovering nature.
So please consider sending your response to North Yorkshire Council as detailed above. If you feel the strategy is too complex, then please email email@example.com explaining how important you think addressing climate change is, how you expect NYC to lead in North Yorkshire and some things you are doing personally to get to Net Zero and beyond as soon as possible.
CASaV Suggestions for the North Yorkshire Council Climate Change Strategy
Below you will find our suggestions from the meeting which may inspire you with ideas for other things you would like to see in the strategy.
North Yorkshire Council has identified 3 themes to tackle:
- Mitigation – reducing NY’s emissions
- Adaptation – preparing NY for climate impacts
- Supporting Nature – helping the natural world, on which we depend, to thrive
- North Yorkshire Council – becoming a climate responsible council
So rather than work through the strategy in the meeting instead we split into groups to work on mitigation, adaptation and supporting nature, we did not feel qualified to comment on the council’s internal policies.
- Meeting Outputs
- Retrofitting of public buildings and social housing
- Support co-operative developments for retrofitting and social care and domestic
- Alternative energy
- Better use of solar panels,use undeveloped council land (or cheap land purchased to use for solar panels
- Solar panels on car parks Wind turbines
- Cycle routes – make commitment to the provision of safe cycle routes
- Major commitment to 20’s plenty
- Free public transport on key routes
- Bike tracks – like Stokesley and Great Ayton
- Connected and integrated rail and bus travel
- 20 mile an hour zones to reduce speed
- Behaviour change
- Empower young people’s voices
- Plant based school dinners
- Link to cost of living to nudge behaviour
- Tax breaks for carbon neutral businesses that are eco
- Built environment
- Shade provision in car parks with solar panels on the roof to generate electricity Solar panels in car parks Houses built for high and low temperatures
- More diversity for supermarkets
- Local shopping
- PV Panels
- Solar thermal
- Motion sensored lights instead of constant floodlightsAlso switching traffic and streets lights off when not needed
- Built environment
- Hedgerow planting and management
- Restoration and improved management of peat moorland
- More shade trees
- Growing suitable crops
- Increase water storage (i.e. water butts etc.)
- Better use of open spaces for absorbing rain water through wild flowers etc..
- Sustainable agriculture
- Less waste
- Wonky vegtables – but not lip service
- Regenerative farming
- How to resource the transition?
- Hedges cut within an inch of their life
- Payment for margins?
- Move from money spent on weedkillers
- How do we feed the nation?
- Food security?
- Easier for vegans
- Factory produced food from microbial base
- Move away from animal based to plant based/frementation processes
- Major issue on how to encourage a radical change in farming practices in a short space of time
- Make space for nature – rewilding?
NYC Strategy by Theme
Mitigation – reducing North Yorkshire’s emissions
- A low energy and low carbon built environment powered by local renewable energy.
- Easy, accessible, and affordable low carbon transport to enable active travel, public transport, and electric vehicles.
- A low waste and circular economy with support for communities and businesses to reduce resource use and benefit from green economic growth.
- Making the most of our land to store carbon. Encouraging everyone to reduce carbon emissions.
Adaptation – preparing North Yorkshire for climate impacts
- Ensuring that North Yorkshire is climate resilient: reducing exposure to, prepare for, cope with and recover better from extreme weather events and global supply chain and health impacts that will become more intense and frequent.
- We will draw up climate adaptation plans to support infrastructure, services and residents to prepare and adapt.
- Adaptation for and by nature, enabling nature to adapt to changing habitats and using nature based solutions to cool our towns and reduce flash flooding.
Supporting Nature – helping the natural world, on which we depend, to thrive
- Developing strong forward plans and community partnerships for nature.
- Protect, enhance and link important nature sites and corridors and realise opportunities to grow sustainable economic prosperity.
- Prioritise nature based solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
North Yorkshire Council – becoming a Climate Responsible Council
- The Council aims to be carbon neutral by 2030 and will measure and report its progress annually.
- A detailed decarbonisation programme will cover our buildings, fleet, and the goods and services we buy and how we use our assets to support nature.
- Climate Responsible actions will be built into the Council’s governance and culture, training, impact assessments, officer groups, and regular progress reporting.
Notes on NYC Strategy
- Must support nature recovery
- Funding – additional external funding
- Shift from business as usual – no extra funding needed
- Not just council everyone
- Super sparse
- Poor housing thermal performance
- Limited electrical grid
North Yorkshire Targets
- + – Emissions
- 33% agriculture
- 28% transport
- 20% domestic
- 12% industry
- + – Targets
- + – Transport
- Sales of zero emissions cars reach ca. 20,000/yr by 2038 Increase active travel for short journeys, ensuring walking and cycling accounts for 17% of distance travelled by 2038 Increase public transport share of travel by bus to 8% of all journeys and by train to 16% by 2030
- + – Land Use
- Plant 37,000 hectares of new woodland by 2038 Increase amount of hedgerows in the region by 20% by 2038, alongside improvements in hedgerow width and health 100% of upland and lowland peatlands under restoration by 2038
- + – Buildings and Industry
- Retrofit of 250,000 homes to reach EPC C or better (reduced thermal energy demand)
- 270,000 heat pumps installed by 2038
- Hydrogen equipment developed and deployed for industry
- + – Power
- Upgrade the electricity infrastructure to enable over double the existing demand by 2038 Install an additional 2,500 MW megawatt (MW) of capacity from solar, onshore wind and hydropower by 2038 Install Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to large biomass and fossil plants, capturing 8 MtCO2/yr by 2030 and CCS retrofits onto Energy from Waste (EfW)
- + – Transport
- Equality of opportunity
- Work and collaborate with partners
- Using the evidence
- Financially aware
- Public health
- Improvements in air quality
- Economic development
- Resilience and vulnerability
- Rural commission and rural task force outcomes
- Reduce GHG
- Decrease production of GHG by reduced energy demand and modernised agriculture
- Generate low carbon energy
- Capture GHG and store in organic sinks and via industrial CCS
- + – Priorities
- Retrofit buildings
- Phase out fossil fuel use
- Future proof new buildings
- Ensure hydrogen readiness
- + – Low carbon transport
- Local transport plan by Summer 2024
- + – Waste and circular economy
- Accelerate CCUS
- Circular business
- Behaviour change in waste
- + – Energy generation
- Support community energy projects
- + – Agricultural emissions
- Increase efficiency
- Local food
- + – Capture
- Through farming
- + – Everyone reduce GHG
- Change awareness
- Actions for individual, organisations and businesses
Adaptation and Resilience
- Prepare for change
- Plan / retrofit
- Nature at heart of adaptation
- Support nature to thrive
- Increase storage of carbon in our landscape
- Enhance marine and coastal ecosystems to improve carbon sequestration
- NY&Y local nature recovery strategy
- Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG)
- Local plan 2028
- + – Economic growth
- Natural capital investment plan
- Skills gaps
- Sustainable tourism
- Marine environment
- In business as usual
- NYC NZ 2030
- NY NZ 2034
- NY -C 2040
- Defines our generation
Some thoughts on how to complete the survey via “Have your say on our climate strategy“, via the paper forms in libraries or don’t forget you can respond just by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first questions are fairly direct, please complete these as you see fit, don’t hold back on emotion, the survey is about your personal views and feelings. So it is important that NYC learn how the residents truly feel, as this is what will give the council the license to act faster and further than if we don’t support climate positive actions.
- How aware are you of climate change?
- How worried are you about climate change?
- + – What actions have you taken to tackle climate change?
- Home energy improvements
- More use of public transport
- Electric vehicle
- Reduced energy consumption
- Reducing waste
- Changed diet
- Installing renewable energy
- Community activity
- More waling or cycling
- No action
The document does not give sufficient detail to have confidence that it will address the 4 themes. For example it many of the suggested actions from the CASaV meeting are not mentioned. So when you complete the “why you feel this” section you can highlight the ones you believe are necessary to explain why you are not confident with the strategy.
- + – How we plan to slow it down – mitigation
- How confident do you feel that this approach will help slow down a changing climate in North Yorkshire?
- + – How we are preparing for climate change – adaptation
- How confident do you feel that this approach will prepare for a changing climate in North Yorkshire?
- + – Helping nature to help us
- How confident do you feel that this approach will help nature to help us in North Yorkshire?
All of these items are very important and so prioritising without specific background is not useful, so skip this. For example you need to know relative costs of each action per tonne of carbon dioxide emission reduction and/or the land area needed for each tonne reduction. The list is also obviously very incomplete, for example there are many other ways to reduce waste, such as repair, design for longer life, removal of single use items, etc..
- Capturing and storing carbon
- Encouraging everyone to reduce carbon emissions
- Energy efficient built structures
- Farming emissions
- Renewable energy growth
- Travel and transport
- Reduce waste by reuse and recycling
The final two questions are opportunities direct how the council works to achieve the strategy.
Openness is probably the key item to mention for the working with question.
How do you we can best work with our partners and the community to tackle Climate Change?
Please include whatever ideas you have that you haven’t included in the earlier confidence questions here.
What other suggestions do you have to help us manage a changing climate?