The climate crisis is one of the most significant issues to face our society, our environment and the planet. We have seen a rapid global rise in greenhouse gas emissions over the last 100 years and a trend towards increasing global average temperatures over the last century.
Global temperatures are projected to continue rising, which is very likely to cause continued changes in weather patterns, rising sea levels and frequency of extreme weather events.
Changes to our climate will affect parts of our climate in different ways:
- Flooding may force residents and businesses out of their homes and premises and affect highways causing travel disruption.
- Drought conditions cause implications for growing crops and food, and put pressure on water supplies.
- Power outages from storms could affect businesses, public services and households.
- Local agriculture may experience an impact on food yields.
A global response is required to tackle the crisis at an international, national and local level, down to every individual. What happens next is up to us and we all need to play our part to manage our impact on Earth.
The Environment Bill 2020 sets out some of the policy changes that the government is seeking to make to support the UK’s climate change objectives and is currently scheduled for agreement for November 2021.
We declared a Climate Change Emergency in July 2019 and announced a target to be carbon neutral as a Council as far as practical by 2030, as well as supporting our communities to reduce the impacts of climate change across the Braintree District.
We carried out a public engagement exercise between May and July 2021. This was to hear the views of residents, businesses and stakeholders on our draft Climate Change Strategy.
Face to face engagement allowed more in depth conversations to better understand views, and barriers to tackling climate change. Our engagement with schools helped us to understand the thoughts and views of our younger generation.
The feedback that we received showed that:
- People's awareness of climate change is high.
- The majority of our respondents did feel that we can all do more to tackle climate change.