Our climate emergency declaration

How we are tackling the climate emergency.

The Climate Emergency Declaration

On 21 March 2019 councillors at Suffolk County Council voted to declare a climate emergency.

Our pledge

We will:

1. Declare a climate emergency

This was declared on 21 March 2019.

2. Set up a Policy Development Panel (PDP)

Starting by September 2019, the PDP will investigate how we can cut Suffolk County Council's carbon and harmful emissions on a spend to save basis. Our ambition is to make Suffolk County Council (including all buildings, school and services) carbon neutral by 2030.

3. Work with partners across the county and region

This includes working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP) and the public sector leaders, towards making the county of Suffolk carbon neutral by 2030.

4. Work with central government

We will work with government to: 

  • deliver its 25 year Environment Plan
  • increase the powers and resources available to local authorities in order to make the 2030 target easier to achieve

Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan

All councils in Suffolk have:

  • acknowledged the climate emergency
  • committed to reducing their own carbon emissions
  • committed to working with partners across the county and region (including the LEP and the Public Sector Leaders) towards making Suffolk carbon neutral by 2030

This Plan has been agreed by Suffolk’s Public Sector Leaders and will support a commitment to a green economic recovery in Suffolk as well as addressing the urgent need to deal with the climate emergency.

Read the Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan here (PDF, 2.3MB).

Alongside the Plan, a detailed Table of Actions has been published, which will be implemented in support of it. View our Table of Actions here (PDF, 400KB).

Read Ricardo’s detailed Evidence Report, produced in support of these documents (PDF, 2.35MB)

Background to the development of the Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan

Suffolk’s Local Authorities have been working together on county-wide climate change project work since 2007 through the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership (SCCP).

In Autumn 2019 a successful Transformation Challenge Award was made to the SCCP to support further delivery towards these joint commitments.

In particular, we wished to:

  1. Undertake analysis of existing data to provide a clear, evidence-based baseline for Suffolk partners on the current picture, including clarity on data and any current gaps.
  2. Identify areas of current and potential influence by Council policy and collaboration with partners to understand the extent to which we can reduce emissions identified by the analysis.
  3. Feasibility test options so that the focus is on actions that can deliver meaningful emissions reductions.
  4. Promote a specific public event (conference) and associated consultation activity to engage stakeholders and the wider community. Given that climate change is influenced by a global range of activity, it will be important to engage widely.
  5. Co-design and launch a delivery plan (including associated communication activity) that builds on the evidence base, feasibility options and community engagement.
  6. Provide project management to initiate delivery of the action plan.

Phase 1 Technical Report

Ricardo Energy & Environment (REE) were selected and commissioned to undertake an authoritative, independent study covering parts 1) to 3) above. REE are part of Ricardo, a global strategic engineering and environmental consultancy that specialises in the transport, energy, and scarce resources sectors.

Read Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan Technical Report (PDF, 3MB).

The report is an independently produced, technical background study which was produced to support stakeholder engagement prior to the creation of a Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan.

Phase 2: Stakeholder engagement and Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan drafting

Stakeholders were engaged to help develop the content of the Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan, working with Ricardo Energy & Environment. In Autumn 2020 we hosted a series of themed workshops to explore six focus areas in depth. These can be viewed here:

This slide pack summarises the priority actions for delivering carbon neutrality by 2030 that were discussed in the six workshops: Priority Actions. This does not represent the totality of actions that will be needed to deliver carbon neutrality in Suffolk – action will also be needed in other sectors such as waste and agriculture.

A Suffolk Climate Emergency Plan has now been agreed by Suffolk’s Public Sector Leaders.

Additional information