News release from 16/02/2021

Council's fortnight of free online events highlights focus on climate change and environment

Climate and environment fortnight

Two weeks of free online events for people in South Cambridgeshire will champion ideas on how residents, communities and businesses can all play a bigger role in tackling climate change and protecting the environment.

The United Nations has declared 2021 as the year to reconcile humanity with Nature, with two global summits happening, one on Nature and one on Climate Change. In response and closer to home, South Cambridgeshire District Council is running its first ‘Climate and environment fortnight’ from Monday 22 February.

A series of webinars will be held, covering topics ranging from how to make green improvements to older homes, reduce the amount of food thrown away and cut carbon emissions in everyday life. There will also be a premiere of a film featuring five local farmers who are adapting their farming practices to help cut carbon emissions and double nature.

The webinars will feature guest speakers, activities and information for a variety of audiences.

All are welcome to join any of these free online events:

  • Greener businesses, Thursday 25 February, from 1pm to 2pm – for anyone with an interest in making businesses greener and more sustainable for the future while saving money
  • Sustainable farming in Cambridgeshire, online film premiere and discussion, Friday 26 February, from 9am to 10am – presented by Carbon Neutral Cambridge and featuring farmers from across the area, this will be of interest to farmers, rural landowners, policy-makers, other expert participants and those interested in practical solutions to climate change and biodiversity loss
  • Greening your older home, tips and inspiration,Tuesday 2 March, from 1pm to 2pm – if you have an older home or listed property this gives ideas on green improvements you could make. This event will be available later on the Council’s YouTube channel.
  • Shrinking your carbon footprint, Wednesday 3 March 7.30pm to 8.30pm – presented in conjunction with Cambridge Carbon Footprint, a talk and discussion to find out more about carbon footprints, shrinking our carbon emissions and living more sustainably
  • Food for our Future workshop, Thursday 4 March, from 7.30pm to 8.30pm - a one-hour workshop from Cambridge Sustainable Food.

For more information, and details of how to join each live event, see climate and environment fortnight events

The Climate and Environment Fortnight 2021 is part of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s commitment to be ‘green to our core’. It follows on from the approval on February 3 of a high-level strategy for ‘Doubling Nature’ in the district which confirmed the Council’s approach to increasing local wildlife-rich habitats, trees and green spaces. The Doubling Nature Strategy complements its Zero Carbon Strategy, which outlines work currently taking place to reduce reliance on fossil fuels with a target of halving net carbon emissions in the district by 2030 and reducing them to zero by 2050.

The Council is also undertaking a greening of its own South Cambridgeshire Hall offices at Cambourne to dramatically cut energy bills and almost halve the building’s carbon emissions. Last November it took delivery of Cambridgeshire’s first 100% electric bin lorry. The new fully-electric Dennis Eagle ‘eCollect’ bin lorry is the first addition in a programme to change over its entire fleet to cleaner vehicles.

Plus, the Council gave out £120,959 in grants for 2019/2020 to 19 local grass roots schemes as part of its Zero Carbon Communities programme, with another £94,832 awarded in December to 17 schemes for this year, for projects including raising awareness around low carbon lifestyles, promoting cycling, tree planting, low energy lighting in buildings, and reducing food waste. It also offered three free trees to every parish council in its district last winter to encourage the initiative on Doubling Nature.

Councillor Pippa HeylingsCllr Pippa Heylings, Chair of South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Climate and Environment Advisory Committee, said: “So many people have reconnected with nature during the Covid-19 lockdowns, spending more time outdoors or in their gardens, and this has highlighted how very important Nature is for our own physical and mental wellbeing. ​The climate and ecological emergencies are inextricably linked. These informative and challenging webinars will give the opportunity for anyone interested to dip in and learn some more about living sustainably, reducing carbon emissions and nurturing the environment, whether that is in your own home and with food consumption, or in your business or across the farming sector. The webinars will show how we can all take action on a daily basis and start to make a contribution in small ways.”

The Council’s Newsletter on Zero Carbon Communities is published quarterly and is packed with support and advice for local residents who want to do their bit to help tackle the climate emergency. To receive the newsletter, email to zcc@scambs.gov.uk or read the latest edition online