‘This must not be just words’ - fresh bid to fight climate change in West Suffolk launched

The Government is not cutting carbon emissions as quickly as it needs to, according to the latest pr

The Government is not cutting carbon emissions as quickly as it needs to, according to the latest progress report from the Committee on Climate Change. A new task force has been proposed in west Suffolk Picture: John Giles/PA Wire - Credit: PA

“Meaningful and achievable action” must be taken to fight climate change in West Suffolk, it has been warned.

John Griffiths said he has been very clear the task force 'must not be just words' Picture: MARIAM G

John Griffiths said he has been very clear the task force 'must not be just words' Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI - Credit: MARIAM GHAEMI

Plans for a new task force - which will explore how West Suffolk Council can obtain a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030 - could soon be given the green light to tackle the problem.

The West Suffolk Environment and Climate Change Task Force will aim to find practical solutions to "make a real difference".

West Suffolk Council leader John Griffiths announced during his first speech during the inaugural meeting of the newly-formed authority in May that two new task forces would be set up.

A new Rural Task Force has already been launched, with the draft terms of the environmental group due to be recommended for approval.

MORE: History is made as new West Suffolk Council meets for the first timeThe council's cabinet will discuss the task force and what it will focus on at its next meeting on July 23.


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Mr Griffiths said the new group "must not be just words".

"I think pretty well everyone can agree about the need to reduce harmful impacts on our environment and we all need to take further steps to do this," he said.

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"Indeed the Local Government Association has said it will help and support councils to do more. The task force I have proposed will make sure we continue to play our part.

"I have been very clear that this must not be just words, but must be looked at using the latest evidence so that we can take further meaningful and achievable action that will make a real difference.

"To make sure we are as effective as we can be, we have to understand what will work, what is achievable, how much it will cost and how soon we can implement it.

"This effects everyone which is why the task force will be cross party and report to cabinet so their findings can be looked at as quickly as possible."

MORE: Government needs to show a more 'joined-up' approach to climate crisis, says leading scientistThe task force will gather and review evidence, appraise options and make its first report back to cabinet in autumn 2019.

Given the extent of the work it will undertake, a further report is expected in early 2020.

Mr Griffiths added: "West Suffolk already has a good reputation for protecting the environment and reducing our impact on climate change. "We have for example the largest solar farm of its kind in the UK and are a national leader in helping businesses reduce their impact by installing solar panels on their roofs as well as on our own premises. "The steps we have taken have had a purpose, been practical and have had meaningful benefits. The task force, I am sure, will build on this excellent work and I hope councillors will back it."

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