Following an independent study of council climate action plans, Woking Borough Council’s plans to combat climate change have been found to be among the best.
Climate Emergency UK assessed council action plans against an expert-approved checklist created in partnership with Friends of the Earth, Centre for Alternative Technology, Ashden and APSE Energy.
Woking Borough Council achieved a total score of 70 per cent, compared to the borough and district council average score of 43 per cent.
The scorecards mark councils on the nine different areas which make up a good climate action plan. Woking achieved full marks for ‘Measuring and Setting Emissions Targets’ (5 out of 5), and high scores for ‘Mitigation and Adaptation’ (17 out of 18), ‘Commitment and Integration’ (6 out of 7) and ‘Community, Engagement and Communications’ (7 out of 9).
View Woking Borough Council's Climate Action Plan Scorecard
Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment, Cllr Kevin Davis, said: “This is really encouraging and shows that as a borough we’re thinking along the right lines and that we’re in a good position to make a real difference.
“We have done a great deal of work to understand the council’s carbon footprint and how we can reduce or offset this. We’re greening our buildings, which are supplied by a low carbon, combined heat and power (CHP) energy station in Woking Town Centre.
“We’ve also put in place measures to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to changing conditions. These include the construction of the Sutton Green flood alleviation scheme and the creation of rainwater gardens in urban areas to reduce surface water flooding.
“Natural Woking, our biodiversity and green infrastructure strategy, sets out how we intend to enhance the provision and accessibility of green spaces, conserve existing biodiversity and habitats and create opportunities for species to return to the borough. Examples of local conservation projects include the Woking great crested newt pilot project, which has completed its fifth year of habitat improvements at Westfield Common to support this protected species.
“But to prevent and reverse the effects of climate change, everyone needs to be involved. Our Planet Woking campaign helps and inspires residents to lighten their environment impact at home, at work or when out and about. It also offers resources for young environmentalists and details of local events such as talks and community clear-ups, so I urge everyone to visit planetwoking.co.uk. The smallest actions can make the biggest difference if we all do our bit.”
The council’s 2022 environmental priorities include: a significant increase in electrical vehicle infrastructure, with over 70 new charging bays in Woking Town Centre; more wildflower planting; revised climate change supplementary planning guidance for new developments; and continued support for homeowners to help them make energy efficiency improvements.
For more information about Woking Borough Council’s climate change action plan, visit our climate change webpages.