Why we need to act

On the 9 of October 2019, the Council declared a Climate Emergency. The Council pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030 across its own estate and operations, including contractors. The Council will also support the actions being taken by Surrey County Council. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2018 report makes clear that the impacts of climate change are being experienced now through unprecedented global trends and through more localised severe weather events.

The Paris Climate Agreement 2015 recognised the need to accelerate actions and investment to combat climate change. It also recognises the need to pursue efforts to limit the future global temperature increase to 1.5°C.  The Climate Emergency declared by the Council recognises that climate change is happening.  Action needs to be taken now, both to mitigate and to adapt. 

A Climate Change Working Group was appointed to develop the strategy and actions required to meet the targets relevant to the Climate Emergency. The Working Group meet regularly and played a key role in the development of the Council’s Action Plan. Surrey Heath Borough Council is committed to tackling climate change and promoting sustainability. 

Climate change study

AECOM was commissioned in early 2020 to prepare a report aimed at exploring how climate change objectives, both in terms of mitigation and adaptation, might most effectively be addressed through the emerging Surrey Heath draft local plan.

The Surrey Heath Climate Change Study was published in September 2020.  

The study had two main aims:

  1. Climate change mitigation - the aim is to understand the likely future trajectory of de-carbonisation within Surrey Heath. The Council will explore Local Plan interventions to increase the speed of decarbonisation. This will bring forward the date for achieving net zero emissions. 
  2. Climate change adaptation -  the aim is to understand anticipated climate change impacts. The Council will explore Local Plan interventions to reduce risk and strengthen resilience.

The comprehensive study explores the context in terms of international and national law and guidance, the baseline scenario from a Surrey Heath perspective, and a review of the intervention options for the new Local Plan.

Chapter 4 of the study includes emission baseline carbon emissions for the Council as an organisation, as well as the Borough wide emissions (2017 base year). The total baseline emissions from Surrey Heath Borough Council’s buildings and assets in 2017 was 4,122 tCO2e. Currently, the greatest contributor to the Council’s own GHG emissions is procurement spend, accounting for 71.2% of emissions. The total emissions for the Borough in 2017 was 417,346 tCO2e. The greatest contributor to this was domestic energy use, accounting for 41% of emissions, with road transport the next greatest contributor (33%).

Download the climate change study