Protecting and enhancing our environment

How we plan to deliver on the county council's pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030, and protect and enhance our environment.

Logo showing Our Ambitions for Suffolk, Protecting and enhancing our environment

Suffolk's environment is one of its greatest strengths. It is why so many people enjoy living and working in Suffolk as well as visiting our great county. Suffolk's environment also makes a significant economic contribution as a leader in green growth with its renewables and technology sectors.

The county council has declared a climate emergency and recognises both the urgency for action and the scale of the challenge to becoming carbon neutral. We will continue to change our own approaches to progress to net zero, and work to encourage others' behaviour changes. Both are needed to protect and enhance Suffolk's environment and biodiversity.

We will fulfil this ambition by:

  • Accelerating work to deliver on the county council's pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030. 2026 is a staging post on the way to 2030 carbon neutrality.
  • Leading, supporting, and contributing to activities in Suffolk's Climate Emergency Action Plan to achieve a net zero Suffolk by 2030.
  • Taking collaborative action with partners to build sustainable homes, promote and adopt low carbon transport, use cleaner power, and reduce industrial and commercial energy use.
  • Promoting biodiversity and conserving natural habitats and open spaces.
  • Promoting clean air and carbon capture through nature.
  • Installing hundreds of electric vehicle charging points and supporting discounts on solar panels and energy efficiency grants.
  • Playing an active role in the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and maximising benefits from the legacy of this vital conference.

Major programmes include:

  • Climate Emergency PDP Implementation Plan: Following the county council's declaration of a climate emergency, a councillor-led policy development panel developed recommendations to accelerate the county council's journey to net zero. These recommendations are the basis for the implementation plan. While the implementation plan is being led by senior officers across the council, it will need engagement from staff, councillors, and partners to have the most impact.
  • Suffolk Climate Emergency Action Plan: Complementing work from individual organisations across Suffolk (including the county council's Climate Emergency PDP Implementation Plan), this evidence-led plan sets out a wide range of actions that need collaboration and action from across the public sector, businesses, and communities. For use by everyone living and working in, and visiting Suffolk, it is a living and ambitious plan and will be a key focus in helping Suffolk to become carbon neutral and making living with climate action part of our daily lives.
  • Growing Biodiversity in Suffolk: We will use Suffolk County Council's policy development panel process to run a 'Biodiversity PDP' during 2021/22 to develop recommendations for promoting and growing biodiversity in Suffolk over the next decade. and support delivery of the council's strategic objectives through high-quality residential development that maximises social value, providing the type of homes Suffolk needs across a range of sites, while meeting our climate and sustainability commitments.