The Council’s Climate Change Strategy is currently being reviewed. The revised strategy will be the follow-up to Woking 2050 which was adopted in 2015.
The significance of the year 2050 used in the strategy’s title was tied to the national legislation in place at the time of its adoption. The UK’s Climate Change Act sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 from the 1990 baseline. This was adopted as a local target at the time. This national target was superseded by a pledge to reach net zero by 2050, which was also adopted locally as part of the Council’s climate and ecological emergency declaration (July 2019).
The new strategy will set out our continuing climate ambitions across key themes such as energy, waste, transport, the natural environment and more.
Each will give guidance and direction for how the local authority, residents, businesses and partner organisations can all play their part to achieve our shared environmental goals.
A number of steps have been taken to inform the revised draft strategy:
- a self-assessment of our existing strategy against good practice examples from other local authorities and against guidance such as Ashden’s 31 Climate Actions for Councils.
- Woking 2050 has been benchmarked against the Council’s scores and feedback from Climate Emergency UK’s (CEUK) score cards on local authority action on climate change. Released in January 2022, CEUK’s ‘league table’ scored councils on climate action based on the availability of information on their authority websites and through their climate change strategies. Woking Borough Council scored 70, ranking tenth amongst district councils nationally. A gap analysis has been undertaken to identify what the updated strategy needs to include.
- Woking 2050 was adopted before the Council declared a climate and ecological emergency and associated carbon reduction targets, so these are a central focus of the update.
- the results of the recent corporate carbon footprint assessment, completed in September 2022, have also been incorporated into the update.
The draft strategy will be subject to a six week public consultation around mid-May 2023. Details of the consultation programme along with the draft strategy will be published to our climate change, Woking Community Forum and Planet Woking webpages soon.
Consultation feedback will then be reviewed to help shape and inform the new strategy with anticipated adoption of the final document in autumn 2023.
Running in parallel to the climate change strategy review, the Council’s Climate Change Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is under consultancy review on behalf of Planning Policy and will also be subject to public consultation in 2023. Further details will be published online soon.