Sustainability and climate change
Climate change is already affecting everyone, with sea levels rising, our summers becoming hotter and drier and our winters getting wetter. If we don’t act immediately, by the end of the century we will warm the world by at least 3C. This would cause catastrophic flooding, pollution, bush fires, extreme weather, and destruction of species.
The Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy is our blueprint for how to tackle climate change and improve air quality within Buckinghamshire.
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. Transport is another major source of greenhouse gases, amongst other emissions that are harmful to our health. The burning of fuels (such as gas, petrol or diesel) is an activity that pollutes the air. There are several areas in Buckinghamshire where levels of nitrogen dioxide are above the UK threshold for this pollutant.
The aim of our Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy is to make Buckinghamshire carbon neutral or net-zero for carbon emissions by 2050 and to 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.
The strategy sets out what we will do and how we will work with partners and residents to achieve our aims.
It has been developed, in part, using feedback from a public survey carried out in 2020 and other engagement work which showed overwhelming support for our proposed approach to tackling climate change. This includes nature-based proposals such as tree and hedgerow planting and rewilding initiatives as well as the expansion of vehicle charging infrastructure and encouraging greener housing developments and home heating options.