17 August 2020
Oswestry Town Councillor Duncan Kerr has urged Shropshire Council to re-write its Local Plan (currently out to consultation) to reflect the severity of the climate emergency we are facing. He explained:
"Shropshire Councils Draft Local Plan contains a specific policy (SP3) which states that "Development in Shropshire will support the transition to a zero-carbon economy in accordance with the policies of the Local Plan"
The document sates that the Climate Change Act of 2008 required an 80% reduction in emission by 2050 but completely ignores the 2019 Target Amendment order which increased this to 100%.
The UK is not on course to meet either of these targets, the Committee on Climate Change has said that getting to net zero (i.e. meeting the 100% target) is "technically feasible but highly challenging". In its July 2019 progress report, they added that the UK government’s policy actions "[fell] well short of those required for the net-zero target".
Given the urgency of the situation, as recognised by the Shropshire Council declaring a climate emergency, far stronger and more ambitious policies are needed in the local plan to drive up energy efficiency standards in new buildings, move towards active travel, dramatically increase the production of renewable energy and extend the current woeful amount of tree coverage in the County.
Instead of this the plan merely repeats the policies regarding the Council's own carbon emissions. These are just a fraction of the whole community. Of the 1.76 million tonnes of CO2e emitted across the County in 2017 the biggest contributions were: business energy use (39%); road transport (33%); and domestic energy use (26%). There are appallingly few policies in this plan that will drive down carbon emission from these sectors in the future, let alone reach zero emissions by 2050.
I am asking the Town Council to support me in demanding that this section be re-written to reflect the latest legislation and the urgency of the climate crisis and thus avoid another 12 years of draft and under-achievement".