Climate Action Strategy
Horsham District Council cannot tackle climate change on its own. We have been working with key organisations such as West Sussex County Council to produce a Draft Climate Action Strategy to help us to guide the District towards becoming carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2050. We will be working closely with residents, key organisations, as well as businesses, parishes and local community groups, to help achieve this.
Please note that the delivery considerations that are included in the detailed Strategy are suggestions from the consultants on approaches that could be used to implement the actions. They are not approaches that the Council or its partners have to take.
While you can see some of the actions below that we have already taken to reduce carbon, using our strategy to engage with key stakeholders will be vital to make a significant change to carbon emissions.
- We have set up a Community Climate Fund offering grant funding to local voluntary and community groups that share our vision of becoming a carbon neutral District. The funding is to support projects that reduce carbon emissions in their local communities. The Community Climate Fund will enable Horsham District Council to contribute to local community groups that are already inspiring people to get involved and take action to make a difference.
Results so far: By the end of 2022 we had awarded grant funding for 28 projects run by community groups across the District. Read about our successful recipients so far
We have also established a Nature Recovery Award with the Sussex Wildlife Trust, as part of the Wilder Horsham District project, which offers grant funding to support practical schemes to support wildlife networks across the District. See who has already received an award and why
- Our Buy Local Gift Happy campaign: We have been asking our residents to think local and buy local where they can. This campaign also contributes to reducing carbon emissions by reducing how far products travel, as well as the reduction in parcel packaging, particularly if they are produced as well as sold locally.
- The Council's climate action webpages are under regular review and updated to help inspire more community action.
- A Climate Action Blog has been set up to share the latest news and inspiring community activities, as well as to update the community about new funding awards and grant application deadlines. These are also shared on our social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
- A regular e-newsletter was established in 2021 for public subscribers, parishes and District councillors. Sign up to receive this monthly Climate Action e-newsletter.
- We take advantage of national climate action weeks such as the Great Big Green Week and during COP26/27 t promote local activities and news updates.
- Workshops have been taking place with parishes across the District in 2022 to look at how we can work together to help reduce emissions.
- Home energy reduction
Our Environmental Health team helps residents to make their homes warmer and reduce their energy bills by offering home energy saving visits to eligible households. We work closely with an organisation which has expertise in helping households to make homes more energy efficient with funding available to help certain households reduce energy consumption and reduce their energy bills. Find out more on our Energy saving page.
- Home Energy Conservation Act Report
For information on the energy conservation measures we have adopted to improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation within Horsham District, read our Home Energy Conservation Act Report.
- Solar energy for homes
We are currently working with West Sussex County Council to support a Sussex Solar Together scheme to help residents cut their carbon emissions by installing high quality solar panels at a reduced price. By installing solar panels and generating zero carbon electricity at home the average household could reduce their annual carbon footprint by approximately one tonne each year and do their bit towards making the Horsham District carbon neutral. Find out more about Sussex Solar Together
Our Horsham District Local Plan 2022-2039, which is currently being produced in consultation with partners, stakeholders, and the public, will have stronger environmental standards than exist in the current Plan.
Energy efficiency standards of new homes are being progressively tightened and we will have a policies in the Plan that will reduce the energy used in new homes and which will also support the use of renewable and low carbon technology.
The Horsham District Local Plan will also include a requirement for new developments to include net biodiversity gain, water neutrality, and stronger guidance to improve air quality. Throughout the Plan there will be policies that seek to reduce carbon emissions from new development.
1. Electric Vehicles
Reducing carbon emissions across the District from transport will be important in the move to be carbon neutral. The Government has stated that no new petrol or diesel cars will be available for sale after 2030 and the number of electric vehicles on the road is increasing. We are now working with other councils across West Sussex County to install a large-scale network of electric vehicle charging points to meet the needs of the many more electric vehicles that this District will see in the coming years. Read our media release about this major electric vehicle charging point project.
2. Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure
In November 2020 we adopted our first Horsham Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). This plan focuses on cycling and walking within Horsham town centre and routes into town from surrounding settlements.
By making cycling and walking the natural choices for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey, this plan will increase the percentage of school children walking to school and will help to reduce carbon emissions from car travel. It also puts the Council in a strong position when bidding for cycling and walking improvement grants from the Government. The key aims of the LCWIP are to:
- Identify cycling and walking infrastructure improvements for future investment in the short, medium and long term;
- Ensure that consideration is given to cycling and walking within both local planning and transport policies and strategies; and
- Make the case for future funding for walking and cycling infrastructure.
Next steps for the Horsham Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan
The adoption of the LCWIP will feed into the overall West Sussex cycling and walking network that is being coordinated and prioritised by West Sussex County Council (WSCC).
WSCC intends to create a combined prioritised list of routes to be progressed as funding becomes available. Many of the routes are likely to require external funding contributions. The prioritised list of LCWIP routes will also inform a review of the West Sussex Walking & Cycling Strategy.
- We should all aim to consume less and reuse more because reducing waste can help reduce carbon emissions. This is because greenhouse gas emissions are created when energy and resources are used to produce and transport goods and can also be created when biodegradable waste decomposes in landfill.
- We are already in the top 20 highest performing recycling districts in the country and following investment in new vehicles and facilities, and the work of the Waste and Recycling team and our residents of course, Horsham District now has the highest recycling rate in West Sussex. Our aim is to increase our recycling rate to above 55%. Find out more on our Recycling pages
- We are aiming to encourage a greater diversion of waste from landfill through our waste prevention campaigns, greater recycling, composting, and food waste collections. In 2021 we also introduced home recycling collections for batteries, textiles and small electrical equipment.
Greenhouse gas emissions data for the District
- The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) estimates the greenhouse gas emissions for each Local Authority every year, but they are published with a 2-year delay, so the latest emissions data we have is 2019-2020.
- Total emissions have steady dropped since 2005, mostly due to decarbonisation of the electricity grid by switching from coal to gas, off-shore wind and solar PV.
- The total carbon emissions for the District in 2019-20 were 585 ktCO2 .
For context; one tonne of carbon dioxide equals the average emission of one passenger flying from Gatwick to Chicago, or driving 6000km with a diesel car - or some 40 return trips by car from Horsham to London.
- The largest source of these emissions is transport (40%). The vast majority of this is road transport using petrol and diesel.
- The second largest source is from the electricity and gas used to power and heat homes (37%).
Stay up to date
1. Sign up for our Climate Action Newsletter
Stay up to date with how we are progressing by signing up to receive our Climate Action email newsletter. You will receive the latest news as well as tips and advice on how to find out more and get involved.
Sign up to receive our monthly Climate Action newsletter
2. Look out for our Climate Action Blog
Check out our Climate Action blog posts on our website for regular updates, information and advice.