The COP26 East Hampshire event last year brought together hundreds of residents with many local community groups, charities, schools and businesses to better understand the action that can be taken locally to accelerate decarbonisation.
Organised jointly with East Hampshire District Council, the event focused on the findings and recommendations from three Action Groups - transport, buildings and land use & agriculture - as these areas are particularly relevant for East Hampshire in terms of tackling the challenges we face.
There has been significant progress made in these and other areas, but there is a great deal still to do.
Below are some of the recent national policies and actions that are relevant to the recommendations of the three Action Groups, together with recent steps taken by EHDC since the COP26 East Hampshire event.
For reference, copies of the final reports from the Action Groups are available to download from links at the bottom of this page, together with a document that shows emissions data for East Hampshire over the period 2005 to 2020, compared to the national position.
National policies and actions - Transport:
Car emissions - more than 30 countries, joined by some of the largest motor manufacturers, commit to work together to ensure all new car sales are zero emission globally by 2040, and by 2035 in leading markets. UK’s delivery plan for 2035:
HGV - Announcement that UK will be phasing out non-zero emission HGVs by 2040:
Electric Charging – publication of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy, with a target of reaching at least 300,000 public chargepoints by 2030:
Active Travel – toolkit published to help local authorities promote active travel:
Transport decarbonisation – toolkit published to help local authorities on actions they can take to reduce transport carbon emission:
National Bus Strategy - £7 billion to overhaul and level up major local transport schemes, including lower, simpler bus fares:
National policies and actions - Buildings:
Boiler Upgrade Scheme – to help with upfront costs of low carbon heating technologies:
Home Upgrade Grant – Funding for local authorities to improve the energy performance and heating systems of off gas grid homes in England:
Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund - Funding to improve the energy performance of social homes in England:
Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund - supports the aim of reducing emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037:
VAT on Energy Saving materials - Zero-rate of VAT for the installation of certain Energy Saving Materials in residential accommodation in Great Britain until 31 March 2027:
Energy consuming products – updated regulations for ecodesign of energy consuming products:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/placing-energy-related-products-on-the-uk-market#full-publication-update-history
National policies and actions - Land Use & Agriculture:
Land Recovery Scheme – policy published and first projects announced:
Local Nature Recovery – policy and eligibility criteria published: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-nature-recovery-more-information-on-how-the-scheme-will-work/local-nature-recovery-more-information-on-how-the-scheme-will-work
Tree planting - Trees Call to Action Fund launched, with commitment of £6 million for tree planting in the UK. Grants of £250,000 to £500,000 available for projects across England to expand woodlands, develop skills and engage communities with nature:
Methane - UK to submit its Methane Memorandum at COP27 in November 2022
EHDC policies and actions:
As published by EHDC on 7th Oct 2022:
Launching this week, the Green Team will work to make the council, the community and the district greener and more sustainable. Council officers will consider the impacts on the environment of the work they do on a day-to-day basis, embedding climate considerations into the culture of the council. Climate change training is already being rolled out across the council on issues such as housing standards, renewable and low carbon technology, carbon offsetting and going net-zero.
A new HQ
EHDC’s new premises in Bedford Road, Petersfield, will reduce the council’s carbon footprint by 74 per cent. We already purchase renewable energy for our offices, but our office move will drive further reductions in our carbon footprint. The council intends to spend £500,000 to improve the building’s environmental performance. Solar PV and battery schemes will work alongside fabric first measures to improve the thermal performance. Staff will be encouraged to travel sustainably with green bike shelters and electric vehicle charging points.
Energy saving home improvements
In the last year, 256 homes have been supported through domestic retrofit schemes ECO3 and COSY. Energy efficient measures that have been installed in properties across East Hampshire include smart thermostats, loft and cavity wall insulation, new and replacement boilers, solar panels and replacement windows and doors. The amount of funding in the last year totals £765,000, with over £2.9 million being spent on 1,856 local homes since the schemes began, reducing their carbon emissions and cutting their fuel bills.
A new scheme has been launched, COSY East Hampshire, offering interest-free loans for energy-saving measures. To find out more go to www.easthants.gov.uk/cosy.
Our greenest ever Local Plan
Our new Local Plan will be a ‘Greenprint’ for the district. It will aim for the highest possible standards in sustainable house-building, strive for zero-carbon homes and seek to protect and enhance local biodiversity. Energy efficient homes have a lower carbon footprint and are cheaper and more comfortable to live in.
The council’s community farm will support ambitions to improve welfare, social cohesion and economic development and will have the environment at its core. Among other opportunities the project will look at growing projects, boosting biodiversity and reducing food waste.
The Green Loop
The Green Loop is an award-winning 7km network of paths around Whitehill & Bordon making it easy for pedestrians, runners and cyclists to get around town car-free. The interconnecting paths make it easy for residents to go from point to point without needing their vehicles, encouraging sustainable travel and reducing pollution and congestion.
Planting a tree for every resident
EHDC has pledged to see 120,000 trees planted in East Hampshire – one for every person in the district. So far, the council has secured commitments to plant more than 50,000 trees, from residents, developers and community groups. Among other environmental benefits, tree planting will help remove carbon from the atmosphere and improve biodiversity – increasing the amount and variety of local wildlife.
Following the success of the COP26 East Hampshire, a community event, titled Let’s Talk Green, is being planned in the new year. It will give residents and local organisations the opportunity to discuss environmental issues, celebrate successes and work towards our next targets.