Herts County Council declares climate emergency

The emergency was declared on Tuesday. Picture: Pixabay.

The emergency was declared on Tuesday. Picture: Pixabay. - Credit: Archant

Hertfordshire County Council has declared a climate emergency – committing itself to developing an ambitious programme on sustainability in the county.

The declaration received unanimous cross-party support at the meeting of the full council on Tuesday, July 16.

This follows similar motions around Hertfordshire last month, at borough and district councils in North Herts, St Albans, Stevenage, and Welwyn Hatfield.

The motion commits the county council to developing a 'Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy' that will set out the policies, strategies and implementation plans so it can meet sustainability requirements across all the council's services.

On proposing the motion, county council leader David Williams said: "I'm pleased that we've made this important declaration and I'd like to thank the councillors from all parties who backed this.

"It's vital that we have this clear and solid commitment to improving sustainability.

"As a county council we're well-placed, not just to reduce our own environmental impact but to help the whole county become more sustainable.

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"If we make the right policies and decisions we can help reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, promote energy efficiency, reduce waste and promote more environmentally-friendly land use and more.

"This declaration is only the beginning, of course, and now we need to develop our Sustainable Hertfordshire Strategy to identify the practical steps we need to make environmental sustainability business as usual for us as we work with the ten district councils to manage growth in the county."

The council is committed to getting its strategy to the authority's cabinet before the end of the year.

The strategy will build on existing initiatives including the county council's Air Quality Strategy, Energy Strategy, Climate Change Resilient Communities Strategy, Pollinator Strategy and work to promote recycling and reduce single-use plastics.

Hertfordshire is one of 104 councils across the UK to pronounce a climate crisis and to make a commitment to make a difference in the last few months.