Between November 1-12, alongside COP26, LibDem controlled North Norfolk District Council hosted a very successful virtual Greenbuild event.
Over 600 households tuned in engaging with some fascinating speakers and workshops. Broadcaster and environmentalist Chris Packham spoke passionately about his thoughts on the climate crisis, others injected a healthy dose of positivity in these troubling times, thanks to Dr Ella Gilbert, who spoke about climate optimism.
Feedback has been hugely encouraging, with many attendees expressing how much they enjoyed learning about the various topics and how they are committing to making changes in their own lives to help fight climate change and protect our environment.
However, there is still much work to be done. NNDC’s Environment Forum presented the Council’s Carbon Reduction Strategy with Net Zero East, which outlined how we are going to fulfil our commitment to ensuring the our own operations achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
Our indicative carbon baseline for 2018/19 was 6633 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (across our scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions). That’s equivalent to every NNDC employee taking four round trips to Sydney each year.
This figure places NNDC somewhere roughly in the middle among other UK councils and our target to achieve net zero by 2030 is certainly ambitious. However, as one of the first local government bodies in Norfolk to declare a climate emergency back in 2019, we accept our responsibility to be bold in our efforts to reduce carbon emissions, and be the leaders of change as the effects of global warming are felt more keenly every day.
A three-phase plan has been formulated.
Phase one - exploring how we are going to decarbonise our own operations and estates.
Phase two - will seek to lead on wider decarbonisation agenda across the District.
Phase three – consideration of how we can empower others to reduce their own carbon footprint.
This work cannot be done in isolation, and involves collaborating and consulting with a wide range of stakeholders from private, public and third sectors.
Cllr Nigel Lloyd, NNDC’s Portofolio Holder for Environmental Services, Climate Change and Environment commented:
"Greenbuild was a truly brilliant event that allowed us to shine a light on a range of climate change and environmental issues, where we asked big questions like ‘what does the future hold for North Norfolk? to smaller, yet pertinent discussions such as ‘what can I do to reduce my own impact on the environment?' The events were thought provoking and helped us collectively to understand what a brighter, greener more sustainable North Norfolk might look like."