Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy

Last updated: 30 September 2021

1. Introduction

As a new unitary authority Buckinghamshire Council (established on 1 April 2020) has an opportunity to shape itself, the area it serves, and its relationships to improve the future for the environment and mankind. We are on a journey to transform local authority service provision to deliver against the key priorities set out in our Corporate Plan.

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.

We recognise the role we play in helping Buckinghamshire mitigate and adapt to a changing climate and air pollution. Actions taken so far include: installing solar photovoltaic systems, energy efficiency measures and electric vehicle charging points, flood risk management projects, and new walking and cycling routes. In addition, our Air Quality Action Plans detail measures to improve local air quality in areas where concentrations of air pollutants exceed legally binding limits.

On 15 July 2020 we committed to working “alongside national Government with the objective to achieve net carbon zero for Buckinghamshire as a whole by 2050. The council should also evaluate reaching ‘net zero’ for its own emissions no later than 2050 and possibly before this, potentially by 2030, subject to resources”. This document sets out the strategy for helping achieve national air quality objectives and zero carbon ambitions. It details over 60 actions to address climate change and poor air quality regarding council operations, our work and contracts with partners and suppliers, and how we influence activity county-wide.

We look forward to working with you so that all of us can tackle these environmental threats and ensure a sustainable future for Buckinghamshire.

Peter Strachan