News release from 17/02/2022

Climate and Environment Fortnight returns for second year

Graphic detailing Climate and environment fortnight

Residents, businesses, community groups and Parish Councils are invited to a fortnight of free online events as part of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s second annual Climate and Environment Fortnight.

The webinar series comes after the news that the Council has been selected out of hundreds as a finalist in the Public Sector Transformation Awards 2022, for its ‘Green to our Core’ programme of work.

These webinars will be held online to celebrate climate action taking place in the district, as well as looking at some of the things that the Council is doing to mitigate and adapt to climate change in the future. The events form part of our Green Connect networking and will cover a variety of topics, featuring guest speakers, activities and information for different audiences. All are welcome to join any of these free online events.

Monday 21 February: 7pm to 8pm: Community Action in Response to the Climate Emergency

What next after you've declared a Climate Emergency? A session introduced by Council Leader and Lead Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Cllr Bridget Smith, featuring a talk by Cambridge Carbon Footprint for Parish Councils and community organisations on how to get community action going in your area. 

Wednesday 23 February: 7pm to 8pm: Cycling for Sustainability

Led by local campaign group Camcycle, and chaired by District Councillor for Milton and Waterbeach ward, Cllr Paul Bearpark, this session will explore action taking place on cycling in the district, including campaigns such as School Streets. Come along to this online event for ideas, inspiration, and information. 

Thursday 24 February: 1pm to 2pm: Making your business greener

This case study-based webinar hosted by the Council’s Business Support Team will feature a panel of speakers demonstrating ways businesses can operate more sustainably, reducing not only their carbon and waste but also being more efficient and saving money by embracing renewable energy. 

Tuesday 1 March: 1pm to 2pm: Planning for the Climate Emergency

Want to know more about how the Council is planning for climate change? This session with officers from the planning service will look at how we are designing homes for the changing climate and how our new planning guidance better protects and enhances biodiversity. 

 Thursday 3 March: 1pm to 2pm: Installing Electric Vehicle Charge Points for workplaces and public use

Want to know more about installing Electric Vehicle Charging points? Find out more through a session for Parish Councils, local businesses and residents, including information on funding options. 

Monday 7 March: 6pm to 7pm: Post Covid Community Support Workshop

This session will be held by the Council’s Sustainable Communities Team and explore sustainability in the widest sense of the word, exploring community led planning and featuring a talk from HIHUB, Histon and Impington’s Community website and communication hub. 

Cllr Pippa Heylings, Chair of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Climate and Environment Advisory Committee, said: “Hot on the heels of the global climate summit in Glasgow, this fortnight of free events is part of our Zero Carbon Communities and Green Connect programme, which aims to help South Cambridgeshire tackle climate change on a very local level. There are some incredibly useful topics to be covered, such as making your business greener and how to get community action going where you live. As with our successful series of events this time last year, these webinars will show how we can all act daily and contribute in small but significant ways. Being green to our core is at the heart of everything we do as a Council and I’m excited to join the online discussions about this topic during the next fortnight. The recent announcement that we are a finalist in the Green Public Service Category in the Public Sector Transformation Awards 2022 is further proof that we really do put the environment at the heart of everything we do.”

South Cambridgeshire District Council declared climate and ecological emergencies in 2019 and is responding to the immediacy of these crises in changes to how it delivers services that benefit residents, businesses, and Parish Councils. Since 2018, being Green to our Core has been a top Business Plan Priority for the Council. It is delivered by its approach to reducing emissions through mitigation, adaptation, and natural solutions across all areas of the Council’s influence. The Council adopted its first Zero Carbon Strategy in May 2020. This sets out the need to halve net carbon emissions in the district by at least 2030 if not before, and the authority’s plans to support this. In February 2021, the Council created a ‘Doubling Nature' strategy, a sister document to its Zero Carbon Strategy, setting out an approach to increasing wildlife-rich habitats, tree canopy, and access to green spaces in South Cambridgeshire, which are also nature-based solutions to adapting to climate shocks such as flooding, drought and heatwaves. Since launching in 2019, £310,000 has been allocated to 51 different community groups through the Council’s Zero Carbon Communities grant scheme. The projects support communities with cycling, tree planting, energy efficient lighting, food production / distribution and waste reduction.

Find out more about what the Council is doing to tackle climate change in South Cambridgeshire.