District council to hire climate change officer

Richmondshire District Council is to hire an officer to help it become carbon free.

The authority aims to have operations carbon zero by 2030 and also wants to encourage the district as a whole to work in a more carbon neutral way.

Councillors have agreed the next phase of work to address the climate emergency in the district, underpinned by the new four-year council plan which states a commitment to make the council’s operations carbon neutral by 2030; encourage initiatives that help create a zero carbon district; and improve biodiversity while protecting the working and cultural landscapes and economies.

Members of the authority’s full council this week gave approval to create a new post to take forward the climate change agenda.

A budget of £100,000 was allocated to cover its cost and its work.

Since the authority declared a climate emergency in July 2019, a working group has been set up and meetings with other partners are taking place.

Councillor Philip Wicks, chairman of the Climate Change Working Group, said: “We have committed £100,000 to establish a new officer post to lead and deliver our climate change agenda in partnership with communities across the district, as well as projects to reduce the Council’s own carbon footprint.

“We will be seeking to ensure the widest range of stakeholders are fully engaged in climate and nature initiatives, and to encourage the broadest ownership of the climate change emergency in the district.”

Working group vice chair, Cllr Kevin Foster added: “The working group that has been formed is a key part of the climate emergency motion I presented last July.

“The formation of this group is an important step forward and the beginning of a 12-year plan towards a more sustainable future for Richmondshire.”