2 years after a 'Draft' Climate Emergency Action Plan was published, HDC have finally published an update, which will be considered by the Full Council on Monday 13th December. You can read the document here :
It's a lot to take in, but the MH Climate Action Group (a subgroup of Sustainable Harborough Community) has reviewed the document and these are our initial thoughts :
On the positive side:
The plan identifies key areas for action and the Cabinet has taken responsibility for its delivery. This suggests genuine commitment on the part of Harborough District Council to lead local efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Use of the Carbon Place Based Calculator in identifying the activities and locations that contribute most to total emissions should provide an important means of guiding how priorities for action are identified and evaluating the effectiveness of actions taken.
The intention to work with other local authorities in sharing good practice and lobbying for further central government support for local action on climate change is great
There is a promise to develop a Detailed Delivery Plan, a Communications Plan and to report annually on progress
There is no real vision or sense of urgency in the plan
Apart from the overall commitment to 'reduce its own carbon emissions to net zero, as far as practically possible by 2030' there are no targets and no milestones and very few delivery dates
Most concerning to us, is that the plan does not seem to have moved forward significantly since the Draft Climate Action Plan which was published in 2019. Very little regard seems to have been given to all of the comments and suggestions made by individuals and groups during the consultation period held in the summer.
No dates are given for the publication of the Detailed Delivery Plan, or the Communications Plan and no details about what the annual report will include, and how it will be communicated to the public
We are hoping that there will be a lot more to follow from the council, after the Council Meeting on Dec 13th, and this will allow Sustainable Harborough Community to work positively and constructively with them moving forward.