Council set to agree new Climate Action Strategy

Published: 12 Jan 2024

Bramber Brooks gate

At a Cabinet meeting on 25 January, senior councillors at Horsham District Council are set to approve the Council’s Climate Action Strategy for the Horsham District.

Horsham District Council is committed to taking action on climate change, addressing both its own target to become net zero by 2030 and supporting the whole District to become net zero by 2050.

The Council declared a climate and ecological emergency in the summer of 2023 and its new four-year Council Plan has a heavy emphasis on the environment.

The Council is making good progress towards its own 2030 net zero goals, although these only represent a small proportion of the total carbon emissions for the whole District.

Although there have been lot of actions going on in the District to combat climate change, both by the Council and in the community, there has not been a dedicated strategy to drive this work.  To rectify this, the proposed Climate Action Strategy is a 10-year plan that will co-ordinate the changes that are required for the whole District to become net zero by 2050. This is the same as the national target.

Across the summer of 2023, the Council engaged with residents, businesses, and other organisations on the contents of the Strategy. The response was really good and lots of useful information was provided. Overall, the survey identified that there were no significant gaps in the proposed Strategy, as it covers all of the main climate action concerns of the community.

As a result of the community feedback there are some changes that have been made, such as greater prominence given to water issues, including reducing water consumption and flood risk, as well as improving water quality.

Commenting on the proposed Strategy, Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Climate Action and Nature Recovery Cllr Colette Blackburn said:

A vital element of our climate action work as a council is consultation and collaboration with local people, businesses and community groups.

“I wish to extend my thanks to all of you for completing the survey, taking part in one-to-one meetings and giving such valuable input to this key area of our work to address climate action at a local level.

“If the Climate Action Strategy is approved at Council we look forward to working further with our various partners to put this Strategy into action, meet our net zero targets and deliver tangible benefits for the whole District, such as improved health and wellbeing, more environmentally friendly green spaces and innovative sustainable solutions for local businesses to create more jobs.”

The Strategy covers Energy, Buildings, Transport and Waste as well as Land Use and Water.  Many people answering the survey identified Transport, Land Use and Water as their most important issues. Specifically, these were improving public transport, as well as infrastructure for cycling and walking, and enhancing green spaces for wildlife and joining up habitats. These are all goals in the Strategy.

The Council cannot reduce carbon emissions and adapt the area to extreme weather events on its own. This will require action by partner organisations, community groups and residents and businesses across the District.

Find out more about the Council’s climate work via the website, including what climate actions are taking place across the District, a Climate Action blog, plus information on local events, campaigns, and advice and tips on actions that everyone might like to take to help tackle climate change.