Target date for net zero emissions may be brought forward five years

Cllr Jonas King (L) and Cllr Lorna Dupre (R) both had their say on the net zero plans for Cambridgeshire.

Cllr Jonas King (L) and Cllr Lorna Dupre (R) both had their say on the net zero plans for Cambridgeshire. - Credit: Jonas King / South East Cambs Liberals

The target date for Cambridgeshire to reach net zero emissions is planned to be brought forward by five years. 

Cambridgeshire County Council’s draft climate and environment strategy brings forward the date to 2045. 

The county council’s own ‘organisational target’ to reach net zero for its direct emissions is 2030. 

The draft strategy was presented to councillors at the environment and green investment committee on December 16. 

In the draft document it sets out the county council’s vision for the future in Cambridge. 

It said: “We will live in climate adapted and zero carbon homes. Our lives will be powered with 100 per cent renewable energy. 

“Our communities will be more resilient to the impacts of climate change and will have space for nature to thrive. 

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“Our health will be better and we will have easy access to sustainable, local, transport and green space. 

“We will have a circular economy that provides access to affordable low and carbon products and services.” 

The county council plans to achieve its vision partly through preventing further emissions, flood risk management and improving biodiversity and tacking air pollution. 

Specific areas of priority have been identified by the county council, including continuing its transition of council owned buildings to low carbon heating. 

They’ll also promote low carbon transport, prioritising walking, cycling and public transport, as well as supporting the uptake of electric vehicles. 

Cllr Jonas King said he supported the strategy because he argued it was “by and large” what the previous Conservative administration had “already put in place”. 

He added that he was “disappointed” that the opportunity had not been taken to do more, and described the draft strategy as ‘lacking ambition’. 

However, the chair of the committee, Cllr Lorna Dupré, said it was an “extremely ambitious” strategy. 

She said: “There’s a lot of new stuff in there, there’s a lot more ambition in here than we had before.

“We know that the action plan will change and develop over time and that’s natural."

The draft strategy will next be presented at a full council meeting where councillors will decide on whether to officially adopt it.