Buckinghamshire Council is working together with local communities to tackle the impact of climate change in Buckinghamshire. We’re aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. Help us to achieve this goal and protect our planet for ourselves, our families and our future generations.
What is the Bucks Climate Challenge?
Working together to help combat climate change
Bucks’ Climate Challenge is all about working together to reach net zero carbon emissions in Buckinghamshire, in order to reduce the impact of climate change.
Climate change is already affecting everyone, with sea levels rising, our summers becoming hotter and drier and our winters getting wetter. Residents in Buckinghamshire tell us they are already experiencing the effects of climate change and want to do something about it.
The cause of climate change is an increase in the amount of (greenhouse) gases in our atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, that trap heat from the Sun. This is causing our planet to warm up and the permanent ice on it to melt. The increase in greenhouse gases is caused by human activity.
Reaching net zero carbon emissions means taking as much carbon out of the atmosphere as we put into it.
There are many ways in which we can all reduce our carbon emissions and improve air quality; from using the car less to planting more trees. Even small changes to our lifestyle can have a big environmental impact.
Buckinghamshire Council has a Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy which details how we will make Buckinghamshire carbon neutral by 2050 and ensure that concentrations of air pollutants are at safe levels.
We will reduce our own carbon emissions, as a council by 75% by 2030, on the way to achieving net-zero no later than 2050.
Climate change and poor air quality are significant challenges to making Buckinghamshire the best place to live, raise a family, work and do business. They negatively affect human and ecological health, the economy and the built environment. Every area of our lives, including the services provided by the council, are affected by these issues. But all of us have the capacity to address them and make changes to reduce our emissions to air.
How can I get involved?
Reduce your own carbon emissions
There are so many ways you can help by reducing your own carbon emissions.
It can be overwhelming knowing where to start, so why not use this simple online tool to find out the best ways for you to get involved: Get Greener online tool.
Our top three tips for doing something that will make the biggest difference:
- walk, cycle or use public transport instead of using your car
- reduce the amount of food you throw away
- turn your heating down
For more ideas visit https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/
Join the Bucks Climate Challenge team on the AWorld app
Buckinghamshire Council is the first local authority in the UK to join the AWorld app (link must be opened on a smartphone), the official platform to support of the United Nations ACTNOW campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability.
Within the AWorld app is the Bucks Climate Challenge team where we can see individuals’ energy and water savings, and follow our achievements as a team.
The app has useful hints and tips for how you can live more sustainably with small changes to your daily life.
There are team challenges to take part in and leadership boards.
Download the app and join the Bucks Climate Challenge team using your smartphone. Search for ‘AWorld’ in your app store.
Grants to make your home greener
Grants are available for landlords and homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of domestic premises with EPC D, E, F or G energy ratings.
Buckinghamshire Council residents can join the Solar Together group-buying scheme. The scheme offers solar panels with optional battery storage and EV charge points, as well as retrofit battery storage for residents who have already invested in solar panels and are looking to get more from the renewable energy they generate as well as increase their independence from the grid.
It is free to register and there is no obligation to go ahead with an installation.
Visit the Solar Together website for more information.
For any questions regarding the Council's involvement in the scheme, please email [email protected].
Spread the word
Seeing what other people are doing is a powerful motivation tool. Can you help to spread the word by posting on your social media page? Use #BucksClimateChallenge to share your stories. Follow us on social media @BucksCouncil to join the conversation.
Buckinghamshire Business First has information and advice for businesses to help reduce carbon emissions.
What is Buckinghamshire Council doing?
The £5 million Climate Change Fund
A £5 million Climate Change Fund has been established. This is being used to support continued emissions reductions, including funding tree planting, energy efficiency and renewable generation projects.
The actions we’ve identified to help reduce emissions cover a wide range of activities, including emission reductions from buildings, waste, transportation and purchased goods and services.
Our key actions to reduce carbon emissions are to:
- plant over 500,000 trees in Buckinghamshire
- generate more renewable energy and improve energy efficiency
- reduce emissions from our vehicles
- improve infrastructure for active travel and electric vehicles
- encourage environmentally sustainable behaviour
- work with partners, communities and suppliers to support emissions reductions.
The council has existed in its current form since April 2020. Work undertaken by five predecessor councils has reduced carbon emissions from 15,117 tonnes per year in 2009 to 8,983 in 2018.
We have reduced our carbon emissions by over 6,000 tonnes a year between 2009 and 2018. We have achieved this in part because we have:
- upgraded over 22,000 streetlights to highly efficient LEDs
- installed solar panels at 15 of our sites to produce zero carbon electricity
- improved the energy efficiency of our buildings through better insulation, lighting upgrades and improved heating systems