Addressing climate crisis continues to top the agenda in Buckinghamshire

As world leaders gather in Egypt this week to discuss the global approach to tackling the climate crisis, Buckinghamshire Council is taking the opportunity to highlight what it is doing at a local level and to remind residents what they can do to help bring about the changes needed.

Gareth Williams, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment explained: “Whilst matters relating to the cost of living are clearly dominating everyone’s thoughts and we are working closely with partners to support those struggling the most, we are mindful that the climate crisis is of equal importance and we must act now to bring about the changes that are needed to safeguard future generations.”

Last month Buckinghamshire Council released its first Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy 2021-22 Progress Report. The report revealed a 70% reduction in the council’s greenhouse gas emissions compared to levels in 1990.

Buckinghamshire Council has introduced a range of sustainable travel initiatives as part of its work in dealing with the climate crisis. This includes extending the e-scooter programme, introducing an ‘on demand’ bus service in High Wycombe, introducing more EV charging points and making improvements to Active Travel routes in Marlow, Aylesbury and Wendover.

Another key element of the council’s plan involves an extensive programme of tree planting which helps to offset carbon emissions and improve air quality. The council has committed to planting a total of 543,000 trees in Buckinghamshire over the next 10 years, one for each resident and is working with community groups, schools and other organisations to plant trees across the county as part of the Bucks Tree Mission initiative.

In addition to planting 3,450 trees on council owned land at Billet Field near Black Park last year, the council is also working with Forestry England to potentially plant 132,000 trees on farmland in Wing. There is a consultation currently underway with a public event taking place on 22 November. For more information visit the Forestry England website.

Gareth continued: “Addressing the climate crisis is, very much, a team effort and it’s important that every single one of us takes responsibility in whatever way we can. One of the easiest ways people can do their bit is by downloading and using the AWorld app on your smartphone, which gives information on a range of small lifestyle choices that everyone can make to save resources.”

Another way residents can help is by taking advantage of grants and support to make their homes more energy efficient. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, making improvements can also cut fuel bills. Grants are available to households with an energy rating of D, E, F or G, with a gross annual income of less than £30,000 or who are receiving eligible benefits. It is available to homeowners and also those who rent privately. To find out more or apply for funding visit: buckinghamshire-applications.co.uk

Gareth added: “We have made great progress already in addressing climate change issues in Buckinghamshire, but we can’t get complacent. There is still much to be done and we need to keep up the momentum. As a council we will continue to look for additional ways to make a difference and I call on everyone in Bucks to join us in our mission. We owe it to our planet and our future communities.”

Find out more about the council’s Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy.

For tips and advice on living sustainably visit the Bucks Climate Challenge webpage.

People with shovels planting new trees in a field

Tree planting at Billet Field last year