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Green action plan increases by twelve as Combined Authority looks to adapt and mitigate to climate change impact across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough


Green action plan increases by twelve as Combined Authority looks to adapt and mitigate to climate change impact across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

At a meeting of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority today (24 November), the board gave a majority agreement to act on twelve new climate change recommendations. It also agreed to work closely with other organisations to identify collective actions that will help mitigate and adapt to the ongoing challenges of climate change across the region.

The board agreed that actions to implement the recommendations, which are part of 27 additional recommendations given in a report by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate, led by Baroness Brown of Cambridge, Dame Julia King, and published in October 2021, should go ahead subject to appropriate funding and business case assessments. It was also agreed to press government to recognise the climate challenges facing the area and for more funding to be devolved to Cambridgeshire & Peterborough to support action.

The latest advice from the Independent Commission focuses on adapting to climate risk, and the role that nature-based projects can play in delivering solutions. It also covers water, business and how adapting to Climate Change can be achieved in a fair and inclusive way for residents and communities here in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The new recommendations include convening a climate and inclusion group with a remit to reach, engage and represent the views of groups who are often left out of climate and policy discussions, developing a green skills and innovation strategy for all three of the region’s economies, and supporting businesses by expanding advice services. Working with partners to significantly accelerate the delivery of the doubling nature ambition recognises the contribution that large-scale nature recovery can make to climate change adaption.

A Climate Working Group will also consider the recommendations for other stakeholders as part of its work on an action plan which is due to be presented in February 2022.

In total, the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Commission on Climate has made 58 recommendations in their full report which called for the need for transformation at a national government, local government, local community, business and individual level from both a financial and people-based perspective if the region is to mitigate against the impacts of a changing climate and prepare for hotter summers, intense storms which lead to flooding and the potential interruption to the supply of goods from across the world as well as from our region.

Dr Nik Johnson, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough said:

As the world’s focus on the COP26 summit in Glasgow earlier this month starts to fade, it’s vital that we keep the momentum and spotlight on our own commitments.

“Already we are seeing the impact of a changing climate across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with the intense flooding and water supply issues that continue to affect the natural environment, farming communities, homes and our water supplies.

“I want to thank the Independent Commission for their seminal work on climate change in the region. They have rightly and repeatedly raised the urgency to reduce greenhouse emissions which are almost 25% higher per person here than the UK average.

“We are taking the issue of climate change seriously, with the development of a clear action plan in response to the Independent Commission’s recommendations. This provides us as leaders, with a green map to help plan, engage fairly with our communities, encourage green skills and innovation and green growth. We all need to take responsibility for the choices we make to reduce the impact climate change, and the Combined Authority is committed to doing what it can to make sure these transitional changes to a net zero carbon region are as just and equitable as possible and will help support its residence in making green choices in their lifestyles, homes, at work and on people’s public health.

The initial work of the Commission is now complete, but the Combined Authority board has agreed support for a reduced Commission in its ongoing work to provide annual reporting and a refresh to their recommendations expected by the end of 2023.